United States: a victim of sexual abuse can plead acquittal for the murder of her attacker

ÉUnited States: Victim of sexual abuse may plead acquittal for the murder of her attacker

MISE À DAY

WASHINGTON | A young American woman charged with murder will be able to plead acquittal on the grounds that her victim sexually exploited her, according to a court decision handed down on Wednesday in a closely followed case in the United States. 

In June 2018, Chrystul Kizer, then 17, shot and killed Randall Volar, 34, in his home in Kenosha, near the Great Lakes, before setting his house on fire and stealing his car.< /p>

To the investigators, the young African-American had explained “to have had enough of him touching her”.

The 30-year-old was at the time the subject of an investigation for sexual abuse of minors and the police had discovered pornographic videos in his home, showing in particular Chrystul Kizer.

The young girl had explained later told the Washington Post newspaper that he was paying her for sex, which is considered “underage sex trafficking” in Wisconsin.

Yet she had been charged with murder, a count that carries an automatic life sentence in that state.

A petition calling for the charges to be dropped, in the name of the right to self-defense, had later garnered 1.5 million signatures online.

Celebrities like actress Alyssa Milano also lent their support, while a fund raised $400,000 for his release on bail in June 2020.

But his legal case was bogged down.

His lawyer had invoked early in the proceedings a state law that allows victims of “underage sex trafficking” to be exonerated from crimes committed “directly” because of these abuses.

But the prosecutors had opposed this line of defense: for them, the murder was not “the direct result” of the violence suffered by the young girl, but had been planned to steal Randall Volar's car.

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After several steps, the Wisconsin Supreme Court finally granted a first victory to Chrystul Kizer on Wednesday.

“Unlike other crimes that take place at specific times, trafficking in human beings can trap victims in a seemingly hopeless cycle of abuse for months or even years,” she notes in her judgment adopted by a narrow majority.

“For this reason, a crime that is unforeseeable or does not occur immediately after the abuse may be the direct result of trafficking, as long as there is a logical connection between the ux”, continues the Court, authorizing him to present this defense during his trial.