The Bronx Freedom Fund, a non-profit charity that “envisions a society that humanizes instead of criminalizes” paid $1,000 to bail 30-year-old Lynneke Burris out of jail on April 5 after he allegedly punched a man and was caught carrying crack. Burris, who has 21 prior arrests including multiple assaults and a rape on his record, was accused of raping and robbing a teacher just a week after the non-profit organization paid his bail.
Lynneke Burris allegedly grabbed the 22-year-old teacher in the entrance to her building around 1 a.m. and put her into a headlock. The teacher passed out but woke up while Burris was raping her. After the rape, Burris took the victim’s wallet, forced her to give up her pin number and stole $500 from her bank account.
“According to the woman’s mother, the distraught teacher pounded at the apartment door after the attack,” Noah Goldberg of Daily News reported. “She said, ‘Help me mommy, help me. He raped me mommy.'”
The Bronx Freedom Fund recently expanded into The Bail Project and has received support from billionaire Richard Branson and record executive Jason Flom who have contributed at least $30 million in funding, according to the New York Post.
“Innocent until proven guilty should not depend on race or income, but in America that is the reality. When someone gets locked up, and can’t afford to pay their bail, they have two choices: plead guilty to the crime, or sit in jail until our backlogged courts can bring them to trial, which in many cases can take years,” The Bail Project states. “We believe that people shouldn’t have to plead guilty to a crime they may not have committed just because they can’t afford a bail payment, which is why we’re paying people’s bail.”
According to the New York Post, neither The Bronx Freedom Fund nor The Bail Project returned their requests for comment on the incident.