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Help Jessica get the due process she deserves
$1,250 raised
10% of $12.5k goal
11 contributors
4 Years running
Jessica Benson is a young, educated, motivated woman who has been falsely accused of a crime. She is also poor and black. Because she lacks the resources to make bail, she has been sitting in the county Jail for eight months. Jessica needs ...

Jessica Benson is a young, educated, intelligent, motivated woman who has been falsely accused of a crime. She is also poor and black. Because she lacks the resources to make bail, she has been sitting in the county Jail for eight months. 

Jessica is a 23 year old college student who needs your help. This campaign is to raise the funds in order to make Jessica's bail requirement, as well as funds for her support when released. Because of the abuse that she suffered and fear for her own safety, many of the details of the crime have been sketchy until now. Here are some of the facts:

 ~ Jessica was in the most exciting time of her life. She was a new college graduate eager to find a job and contribute to society. Just as she was about to participate in her graduation ceremony, an honor won with hard work and dedication to her studies at Mount Mary College in Milwaukee, she went missing. The bank that she worked at faithfully for four years, Educators Credit Union in Milwaukee, had been robbed two days before. Jessica was one of several tellers on duty at the time.

 ~Jessica stands accused of aiding and abetting in the robbery of a financial institution. The charges are based primarily on the testimony of one of two men who actually robbed the Credit Union. This individual, who recieved a significantly reduced sentence for his testimony, was a close relative of the man responsible for Jessica's abduction and sebsequent physical and emotional abuse. This man, who has a felony record, was Jessica's former boyfriend. He hid his arrest record along with other details from his past.

 ~Jessica was missing for eleven months. During that time she was beaten regularly, several times to the point of passing out. She was tasered, she endured threats to her life in the form of a loaded gun put to her head. She was repeatedly told that she was nobody, that no one cared if she lived or died. She describes this as a time of not knowing whether she wanted to live or not.

 ~Jessica is presently "detained" at Milwaukee County Jail. The conditions are abysmal and she needs treatment for PTSD . Her bail is set at $10,000 because she was once seen as a flight risk. With the introduction of new evidence, there is hope that this case will be seen as what it is:  Jessica is the larger victim in this crime. 

 ~Jessica is bright, beautiful and somehow still has hope and optimism for her future. She is a person of deep faith. Her letters are full of plans: Plans for graduate school, plans for her career, plans to improve herself and to find real love and happiness within and without. 

Because our justice system often fails to serve women in abusive situations, people of color, and the finacially underprivledged, Jessica's case has been especially complicated and misrepresented. This campaign can not undo whats been done but it does hope to support Jessica and serve her so that she can take control of her own destiny once again.  

With support, Jessica can find space to heal and to be her own best advocate. Her goal to get an advanced degree in medicine can be realized. We not only want her to live, we want her to thrive. Please give what you can. All donations, large and small, are accepted with gratitude.  

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