Washington teen Chrystul Kizer is facing life in prison after she allegedly shot and killed a man she claims raped and filmed her before she set his house on fire.
Depending on the final decision, this case could have larger implications for other sex trafficking victims who have been charged with violent crimes.
Her defense attorney says Kizer only killed the man as a result of repeated instances of sexual abuse and trafficking and therefore has an “affirmative defense” for her crimes.
Prosecutors, however, argue that her crimes were premeditated and therefore not defensible.
Kizer, 19, has been charged with first-degree intentional homicide for the death of 34-year-old Randall Volar III on June 5, 2018. She allegedly shot Volar twice in the head, set his house on fire and stole his vehicle, according to the Kensosha News.
Before his death, Volar had been under investigation for child trafficking.
Investigators from the Kenosha Police Department seized computers and other evidence from his home and were analyzing the images and video — which seemed to be of teenage girls — discovered in order to build a case against him.
One of the young girls pictured was Kizer.
How Kizer and Volar Met
Kizer was only 16 years old when she first met Randy Volar in 2017.
She told The Washington Post that Volar answered an advertisement she posted on Backpage.com, a website that was often used as a prostitution marketplace until it was shut down last year.
Soon they would see each other regularly and Volar would shower her with gifts — from steak dinners to jewelry and cash — in exchange for sexual favors.
The teen found solace in Volar’s “friendship” following an abusive relationship, even though it came with a price.
“He was the only friend that I actually had,” she said.
Events Leading Up to Volar’s Death
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A few weeks after her 17th birthday in summer 2017, Kizer was arrested for driving a car her brother had allegedly stolen and fleeing officers.
She spent 55 days in jail before her bail was reduced to $400 and Volar was able to pay to get her out. Once she was free, he asked for sexual favors in return and when she refused she claimed he made her feel like she owed him.
She later said he also posted advertisements on Backpage.com for her and drive her to meet men who answered them. Kizer said she then began to slowly sever ties with Volar, but the more she pulled away the more violent she said he became.
He had started to talk violent and stuff,” she told The Post. “I was going to stop talking to him, and he said if I did that he was going to kill me.”
On June 5, 2018, she took an Uber to Volar’s home, allegedly shot him and set the house on fire. Kizer claims Volar pinned himself on top of her after she refused to engage in sexual activity and tried to rape her before she pulled the trigger.