Last month, the internet and streets erupted in both anger and joy after a jury of his peers found Kyle Rittenhouse ‘not guilty’ on all charges in Kenosha, Wisconsin. The jury determined that Rittenhouse acted in self-defense and therefore was justified in killing two people and injuring another.
Also in Kenosha, just two years prior to Rittenhouse killing two and wounding a third, another 17-year-old defended herself from her aggressor. Unlike Rittenhouse, however, Chrystul Kiser’s aggressor had been abusing her and threatening her life for over a year.
In June of 2018, Kiser, like Rittenhouse, was just 17-years-old when she fatally shot Randall Volar and burned his house down. A year earlier, when she was 16, she met the pedophile sex trafficker who immediately began advertising the young black girl on Backpage. Since then, the website has been shuttered for doing just that, selling young girls for sex on the internet. Backpage was closed down by the feds in 2018.
Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley had a chance to protect Chrystul Kizer from her sex trafficker but he failed. Instead, he blamed the victim.
Graveley, who could have put Volar away for the rest of his natural life, rid Kenosha of a known child sex trafficker, and keep his town safe, allowed Volar to walk free without posting one red cent for bail. We at TFTP know Graveley as the DA who refuses to reopen the investigation into Michael Bell, Jr., a Kenosha young man who was killed by cops in his own driveway.
Graveley also refused to prosecute the cop who shot Jacob Blake as well.
According to the local news coverage of the Kizer’s case:
Four months before his death, police arrested Volar on charges that included child sexual assault, but they then let him go without bail, according to The Washington Post. During the course of their investigation, police found “hundreds” of child pornography videos, and more than 20 “home videos” of Volar with underage black girls, according to files given to Kizer’s family and reviewed by the Washington Post.
Graveley cannot bravely accept his inaction and blame himself for not locking up the 33-year-old alleged pedophile. Instead, he blamed Kizer, saying no matter what torture she endured as a sex trafficking victim, she had no legal right to kill her oppressor — apparently, even if her very life was in danger and it was an act of self-defense.
If somebody commits crimes against you, even horrible crimes, that you aren’t allowed to go kill them in response.
Perhaps this is why Graveley chose to give the Rittenhouse case to his assistant district attorney, Thomas Binger — maybe Graveley hates self-defense claims, when it’s not cops using them.
Only after Volar was killed did Graveley tell the local media his office would have ended up charging Volar with the crimes with which he was charged but now that he’s dead that’s not possible.
Luckily for Kizer, however, her case has received attention outside of Kenosha and she was bailed out of jail last year after the Chicago Community Bond Fund and other supporters raised money to post her $400,000 bond.
Unlike the speedy trial given to Rittenhouse, Kizer has had her fate in limbo for years and all she is accused of doing is killing her sex trafficker in 2018 after he drugged her and tried to rape her when she was just 17-years-old.
Also unlike Rittenhouse, Kizer was unable to use the self-defense argument in her case. However, an appellate court recently reversed the decision and the Wisconsin Supreme Court will now consider the ruling.
“It has huge ramifications for her, but it also has a huge potential impact for other victims of trafficking,” reporter Anne Branigin recently told Democracy Now.
Wisconsin state representative David Bowen pointed out the disparity between the cases, noting, “We have a very clear case where we are not receiving the same support, the same outcry from folks who got behind Kyle Rittenhouse to defend this young Black woman. She was trying to defend herself to get out of the sex trafficking she was being abused with.”
As it was largely folks on the right who championed Rittenhouse’s case, they should be behind Kizer’s as well — but they are not. While many will claim it is racism or sexism, the right is a huge proponent of going after child sex traffickers. It is more likely that they simply don’t know about it and if Kizer’s case received just 10% of the media coverage Rittenhouse received, perhaps they would.
Please consider sharing this article with those on the right so they may consider supporting Kizer — a child sex trafficking victim — who mustered up enough courage to defend herself against a man who had been abusing and trafficking her out as a child for over a year.