Officer Adams holds an Advanced Regular Police Officers License and commission under the University of North Texas Health Science Center Police Department. Since 2005 Officer Adams has been with University of North Texas (UNT) Health Science Center (HSC) and currently functions as the Program Manager for the Forensic Services Unit at the UNT Center for Human Identification. He also serves on the National Missing Persons and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) Advisory Group for Missing Persons Section. Prior to joining the UNT Center for Human Identification, G.W. Adams was the Chief Financial Officer of AMF-Playcenter, S.A., Brazil and Argentina, Controller AMF Limitada -Brazil, and International Financial Manager for AMF Bowling Worldwide, Inc. While working full time as Patrol Officer with the Ft. Worth Police Department, Mr. Adams earned a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from the University of North Texas.
Diane Alexander is a senior advisor with Justice Solutions. She has 30 years of experience in the criminal justice and crime victim assistance fields. She began her career as a corrections and probation officer in Oregon. Since 1985, she has worked on victim services issues on the national level as a staff member at NOVA, the National Center for Victims of Crime, and Justice Solutions. During this period, Alexander has coordinated regional and national conferences, developed curricula, developed public awareness materials, founded and directed the Capital Area Crisis Response Team, and served crime victims. She has also made numerous presentations on a wide range of victim service issues including communicating with victims, high profile media cases, HIV/AIDS and victim services, and vicarious trauma.
Natasha Alexenko is a sexual assault survivor who was highlighted
in HBO's critically acclaimed documentary, Sex Crimes Unit. In 2008, nearly
16 years after she was violently raped, robbed and sodomized at gunpoint, her perpetrator was found through a DNA match, thanks to the dedication of New York City's Cold Case Unit. Natasha’s rape kit went untested for almost decade while the man that raped her went on a nation-wide crime spree.
Natasha currently serves as the founder and spokesperson for Natasha's Justice Project - a nonprofit organization that seeks to assist survivors of sexual assault through creating awareness and eliminating the nation's backlog of untested rape kits. Natasha speaks at colleges, universities and other venues across the country, striving to educate and inspire through her unique story of survival.
Christopher Asplen, Esq., is an internationally known expert in the area of forensic technology, particularly DNA. He has consulted directly with the Ministers of Justice in several countries and has been asked to assess the legislative strategies of DNA databasing in European countries by the European Network of Forensic Science Institutes. Prior to his work with foreign governments on technology policy, Mr. Asplen was an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Washington, DC. While a prosecuting attorney in Washington, he was appointed executive director of the U.S. Attorney General's National Commission on the Future of DNA Evidence. The Commission consisted of 22 nationally recognized experts in the fields of criminal prosecution and defense, science, ethics, law enforcement, victim advocacy, and government. Its mission was to maximize the value of DNA in the criminal justice system. Mr. Asplen worked closely with both Attorneys General Reno and Ashcroft to develop DNA policy for the Department of Justice, and also testified before Congress to help appropriate over $160 million for forensic DNA testing.
Robert P. Biancavilla is a career prosecutor with extensive experience in the use of DNA and other forensic evidence both in the courtroom and in the classroom. He has served as the Deputy Chief of the Major Offense Bureau under Nassau County District Attorney Denis Dillon, where he spent years prosecuting homicide and sexual assault cases. He has also served as the First Assistant Deputy Attorney General of the State Organized Crime Task Force of the New York State Attorney General. Mr. Biancavilla is currently a senior trial prosecutor in the Office of Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas J. Spota. Mr. Biancavilla is also a faculty member of the New York State Prosecutors Training Institute, the American Prosecutors Research Institute, and the National College of District Attorneys where he has trained state, federal, and military prosecutors since 2000. He is also a Special Professor of Law at Hofstra University School of Law, Hempstead, New York, and an Adjunct Professor of Law at St. John's University School of Law in Queens, New York, where he teaches "Evidence: Forensic DNA" and "DNA Unraveled: Demystifying Forensic DNA Evidence."
Ret. Detective Sergeant Joseph Blozis was employed by the New York Police Department (NYPD) from 1979 until he retired in 2008. For 13 years as a senior sergeant in the Crime Scene Unit and as Supervisor of the Detective Squad, he supervised the search, collection, preservation, and documentation of all types of physical and trace evidence. Detective Sergeant Blozis has managed more than 2,500 crime scenes, including more than 1,000 homicide investigations. In 1993 and 2001 he oversaw both crime scene investigations involving the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. On September 11, 2001, he was on scene as both towers collapsed and was immediately assigned to "Ground Zero" until May 2002. Prior positions include supervising the criminalistics, narcotics, questioned documents, serology, and polygraph units for NYPD's Police Crime Laboratory, as well as working as a patrol sergeant, in a detective squad, as plainclothes anti-crime, and as a uniformed patrol officer. Det. Sgt. Blozis most recently coordinated the NYPD's Biotracks DNA Program, which expands the collection of DNA evidence to property crimes in addition to homicides and sexual assaults, and has identified more than 500 offenders to date.
Marth Bashford is a prosecutor in the New York County District Attorney’s Office, and has worked there for 33 years. She is the chief of the Sex Crimes Unit, which has over 60 lawyers and was the first of its kind in the country, handling sexual assaults and human trafficking cases. Previously, she was co-chief of the DNA Cold Case Project, which was begun in 2000, using DNA technology to investigate and prosecute unsolved sexual assault cases. In that role she worked with the New York City Police Department on their “Backlog Project,” where 17,000 previously unexamined sexual assault evidence kits were outsourced for DNA analysis, indicting assailants identified through CODIS and obtaining John Doe DNA profile indictments to stop the statute of limitations where no suspect had yet been identified.
Ms. Bashford has lectured extensively throughout the United States and Canada on her experiences in establishing a Cold Case Unit and reviving cases that had been dormant for up to 32 years. In 2007, she was named one of the “Fifty Most Powerful Woman in New York” for her work in ensuring that those who committed previously unsolved sexual assaults are identified and brought to justice.
Condencia Brade is the co-founder and Executive Director for the National Organization of Sisters of Color Ending Sexual Assault (SCESA). SCESA is a Women of Color led non-profit committed to ensuring that systems-wide policies and social change initiatives related to sexual assault are informed by critical input and direction of Women of Color. As a national advocacy organization, SCESA utilizes a multi-strategy approach of leadership enhancement and support for Women of Color; advocacy and support for organizations by and for Communities of Color; as well as technical assistance, training and systems advocacy regarding sexual assault in Communities of Color.
Condencia has worked on issues related to sexual assault for years. Specifically, she has worked to address sexual assault as it impacts Communities of Color, Children, Teens, Students on Campus, immigration and economics.
Emily Burton-Blank, LMSW
Emily Burton-Blank is the Justice Advocate in the Houston Police Department’s Adult Sex Crimes Unit. In her role as Justice Advocate, she provides the emotional support necessary to balance the needs of adult victims of sexual assault with the demands required by the law enforcement investigative process to reach an appropriate judicial conclusion. Ms. Burton-Blank has played a key role in the development and implementation of notification protocols for victims of sexual assault, as well as for the newly implemented Sexual Assault Information Line.
Jacqui Callari Robinson
Jacqueline Callari Robinson is the Statewide SANE/Forensic Coordinator for the Wisconsin Coalition against Sexual Assault. Her duties include acting as an advisor and presenting on a variety of forensic-related topics including medical-forensic examinations for adults/adolescents, pediatrics and intimate partner sexual assault, strangulation, drug-and alcohol-facilitated sexual assault, and expert witness testimony. She also provides case consultation, and technical assistance; and develops training materials, resources, and publications. Jacqueline has been a SANE-A for the past 15 yrs evaluating and caring for victims of sexual violence in Milwaukee SATC where she continues to see patients.
Debra (Debi) Cain is the Executive Director to the Michigan Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Prevention and Treatment Board. Ms. Cain spent the first 15 years of her career as the founding executive director of H.A.V.E.N., a large suburban sexual assault and domestic violence program. Debi then spent four years as the director of the Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Center at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
Debi has served as a consultant, author, and/or editor for a number of articles, manuals, and publications related to violence against women and children. She has been involved in developing training curriculum for judges, police, Children’s Protective Services staff, Friend of the Court, prosecutors, welfare workers, domestic violence and sexual assault program staff. Debra has reviewed manuscripts for groups such as Child Maltreatment and The Journal of the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children. She served on National Sexual Violence Applied Research Advisory Group which advised the Sexual Violence Applied Research Forum.
Debi has received various awards for her work and dedication to the field. Ms. Cain has a Master of Science in administration and a Bachelor of Science in psychology and political science.
Dr. Rebecca Campbell is a Professor of Psychology and Program Evaluation at Michigan State University. She holds a Ph.D. in community psychology with a concentration in statistics, also from Michigan State University. For the past 20 years, she has been conducting victimology research and evaluation, with an emphasis on violence against women and children. Her work examines how the legal, medical, and mental health systems and rape crisis centers respond to the needs of adult, adolescent, and pediatric victims of sexual assault. Her current work, funded by the National Institute of Justice, focuses on Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) programs and the criminal justice system.
She has published over 75 scientific papers and 2 books on these topics, and has conducted over 150 presentations at state, national, and international conferences. Over her career, she has received over 7.5 million dollars in research funding from the National Institute of Mental Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and most recently, the National Institute of Justice. She has received numerous research and teaching awards, including the 2008 Early Career Award from the American Psychological Association for Distinguished Contributions to Psychology in the Public Interest.
Sarah Chaikin is the cold case program coordinator with the Denver Police Department Victim Assistance Unit. She holds a bachelor's degree in human services and a master's degree in professional studies in applied communications. Since 1992, she has worked in various victim services, from on-scene crisis intervention for crime victims to investigating abuse and neglect of the elderly. In her current role, she is responsible for maintaining the Denver Police Department's compliance with the Victim Rights Act (C.R.S. 24-4.1-301). She also works in conjunction with the Cold Case Investigations Unit, providing outreach to victims of cold case sexual assault or felony kidnapping and to family members and co-victims of homicide. Read an interview with Sarah
Assistant Chief Mike Corley began his career in law enforcement with the Midland Police Department in 1976 where he served as a police officer for four years. In 1980, he was hired by the Richardson Police Department. His past assignments included duties as a patrol officer, narcotics investigator and Criminal Investigations Section investigator. In February 1997, he was promoted to captain where he served as captain of the Special Operations Division. His duties included the supervision of the Crime Prevention Unit, Motorcycles Unit, and School Resource Officers, and the coordinating of special events such as the Wildflower Festival and Cottonwood Festival. In July 2002, Mike was promoted to the position of assitant chief and he currently oversees the Operations Bureau which consists of Investigations and Patrol. The Richardson Police Department named him "Investigator of the Year" in 1984. He is also a member of the Texas Police Chiefs' Association, the Texas Police Chiefs' Association, the North Texas Police Chiefs' Association, and the International Association of Chiefs' of Police, and serves on the Police Investigative Operations Committee. Mike Corley is a graduate of Midland Lee High School and an honors graduate of Midland College. He has a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from Midwestern State University. Mike holds a master's certificate in law enforcement, an instructor's certificate, and is an ex-rangemaster.
Kerrin R. Darkow was former deputy director of victim services at the National Center for Victims of Crime. She was the primary supervisor for the National Crime Victim Helpline, which provided direct victim assistance by phone and online. Since 1992, Ms. Darkow has worked as a victim advocate providing direct services to crime victims in a variety of settings. Her work on behalf of victims in the healthcare community has received local, state, and national awards. She is a graduate of Evergreen State College.
Kim Day has over 28 years experience as an emergency/critical care nurse. She has been working as a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner since 1998. From 1998 until beginning her current position, she served as the coordinator of a local Maryland hospital Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner program and the county wide Sexual Assault Response Team (SART). Kim is now working as the SAFE Technical Assistance Coordinator for the International Association of Forensic Nurses (IAFN). In her position as SAFEta coordinator, Kim has coordinated a series of regional trainings designed for multidisciplinary teams who are working to create or enhance community protocols to sexual assault forensic exams. Kim has also spoken at multiple conferences and has participated in many national level projects such as: Forensic Compliance Project, Prison Rape Elimination Act Advisory Group, the SANE Program Sustainability Project, The Statewide SANE Coordinators Project, and the SAFESTAR Tribal Project. Kim is certified by the International Association of Forensic Nurses as a SANE-A.
Angelo Della Manna
Angelo Della Manna is currently the Chief of Forensic Biology & DNA for the State of Alabama, Department of Forensic Sciences. His daily duties include directing the Forensic Biology and DNA effots in the four Regional Casework DNA Laboratories located throughout Alabama, as well as the statewide DNA Databank Laboratory. With over 17 years of experience, Angelo has testified as an expert witness in the field of Forensic Biology and DNA in both State and Federal Courts. He is currently one of the seven members on the FBI's Executive Board for DNA Analysis Methods. He has published his DNA research findings in the Journal of Forensic Science and has been an invited speaker at seveal national forensic DNA conferences. Angelo has been featured on The Discovery Channel Documentary Series "The New Detectives", as well as CBS News' "60 Minutes" Program, in their recent episode focused on the future of forensic DNA testing. Angelo received his Bachelor's degree in Chemistry from the University og Toronto in Toronto, Canada, and his Graduate Degree in Foresic Science from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Read an interview with Angelo
Jeffrey R. Dion has championed crime victims' rights for more than two decades. Jeff began advocating for victims in 1982, when his twenty-three year old sister, Paulette, was murdered by a serial killer. Only 14-years-old himself, Jeff pressed the police for information on his sister's case and, after it was solved, decided to pursue a career in law to help other crime victims. In honor of his sister's memory, Jeff lobbied the Virginia General Assembly, resulting in 13 victims' rights bills being enacted into law. In 1998, Jeff joined the staff of the National Center for Victims of Crime, where he currently serves as deputy director. He also serves as the director of the National Crime Victim Bar Association. In that capacity, he lectures throughout the country to foster greater communication and understanding among crime victims and attorneys. In 2002, he was appointed by Governor Mark Warner and in 2006 was re-appointed by Governor Time Kaine to the Virginia Criminal Justice Services Board, which distributes Victims of Crime Act and Violence Against Women Act grant funds to local programs throughout the Commonwealth. in 2005, Jeff was presented the Allies for Justice Award by the Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers, and was honored by the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services as one of the individuals who has had the greatest impact on crime victims' rights in Virginia over the previous 10 years. In 2006, the U.S. Attorney General presented him with the Ronald Reagan Public Policy Award.
Over the past 25 years, Dr. Eisenberg has worked on the development of many of the systems and methodologies used in the field of DNA identification and testing. Dr. Eisenberg is a full professor and chairman of the Department of Forensic and Investigative Genetics at the University of North Texas Health Science Center. He is the co-cirector of this laboratory which has evolved into the UNT Center for Human Identification. In 2001, the UNTHSC DNA Identity Laboratory established the Texas Missing Persons DNA Database (TMPDD). For the past several years, his lab has been funded by the National Institute of Justice, to perform DNA analysis on unidentified human remains and family reference samples required for the identification of missing persons throughout the United States. Dr. Eisenberg has served on numerous other committees and task forces, including, the Department of Justice Missing Persons Task Force created by the Deputy Attorney General, the Texas Forensic Science Commission, and the United States DNA Advisory Board (DAB) and in 1998 was named Chairman of the Board. Following the events of 9-11, Dr. Eisenberg was asked to serve on the Kinship and Data Analysis Panel established by the National Institute of Justice to assist the New York Medical Examiners Office in the Identification of the remains from the World Trade Center Disaster. Dr. Eisenberg received his Ph.D. in molecular biology from the State University of New York at Albany in 1984. Read an interview with Dr. Eisenberg
Norman Gahn is an assistant district attorney with the Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office. Previously, he served as a military police officer and Criminal Investigation Division officer in the U.S. Army. Mr. Gahn has lectured extensively around the country on the use of DNA evidence in the courtroom. He is a member of the DNA Legal Assistance Advisory Group of the American Prosecutors Research Institute. Mr. Gahn was appointed in 1998 by the U.S. Department of Justice to the National Commission on the Future of DNA Evidence. The Federal Bureau of Investigation has formally recognized him as a pioneer in DNA technology in the courtroom and the National Institute of Justice has formally recognized him as an innovator in the field of DNA evidence. Read an interview with Norm
Lieutenant Shamara Garner is a twenty year veteran with the Houston Police Department. She is currently assigned to the Special Crimes Division where she is the lieutenant of the Adult Sex Crimes Unit. Lieutenant Garner’s experience includes investigating cases involving physical and sexual abuse of children, as well as Homicide and Internal Affairs related investigations.
Meg Garvin, M.A., J.D., is the executive director of the National Crime Victim Law Institute (NCVLI) and a clinical professor of law at Lewis & Clark Law School. In these roles she leads NCVLI's national impact litigation and legal technical assistance programs. Ms. Garvin is recognized as a leading expert on victims' rights. She regularly presents on victims' rights and participates in national forums to develop policy on victims' rights. She has testified before Congress and the Oregon Legislature on the current state of victim law. She serves on the Legislative & Public Policy Committee of the Oregon Attorney General's Sexual Assault Task Force, co-chairs the Oregon Attorney General's Crime Victims' Rights Task Force, and is a member of the board of directors for the National Organization of Victim Assistance. She served as co-chair of the American Bar Association's Criminal Justice Section Victims Committee from 2005-2010. Prior to joining NCVLI, Ms. Garvin practiced law in a private firm in Minneapolis, Minnesota and clerked for the Honorable Donald P. Lay of the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. She received her bachelor of arts degree from the University of Puget Sound, her master of arts degree in communication studies from the University of Iowa, and her juris doctorate from the University of Minnesota.
Janet M. Girten has been the Deputy Laboratory Director at the Forensic Science Center at Chicago, the state's largest forensic laboratory, for the past five years. Ms. Girten is responsible for the Forensic Biology/DNA section, the Trace/Microscopy, and the Drug Chemistry Sections. She has served 22 years with the Illinois State Police Forensic Sciences Division, with nine years as a bench scientist.
Bryan Good has been employed as a forensic biologist for approximately three years at the Indiana State Police Laboratory in Indianapolis. He is an associate member of both the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) and the Midwestern Association of Forensic Scientists (MAFS). He also recently began volunteering at Prevail, Inc., a victim advocacy center. He received a bachelor of science degree in finance in 1998 and a bachelor of science degree in chemistry in 2007, both from Northern Kentucky University.
Mike Green, executive deputy commissioner, New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services. Commissioner Green leads an agency of more than 600 who support the work of law enforcement, criminal justice professionals and crime victims’ advocates across New York State. Prior to joining DCJS in March 2012, he served as the Monroe County District Attorney for eight years, following a 17-year career as an assistant district attorney in that office. He is an accomplished trial lawyer, having handled more than 100 jury trials, including 40 homicide cases.
Michelle Groves is the CODIS State Administrator and supervisor of the database sub-unit for the Maryland State Police Forensic Sciences Division. Ms. Groves has been in forensics for the last 12 years; nine of those years were spent on the bench as a serology/DNA analyst. Her responsibilities include ensuring integrity of the data that is entered into Maryland's database with regard to casework as well as offender and arrestee DNA profiles. Ms. Groves earned a bachelor's of science degree in microbiology from the University of Pittsburgh and a master's degree in forensic sciences from the Virginia Commonwealth University.
Rockne P. Harmon is currently employed as a consultant to numerous law enforcement agencies on cold case investigation and other issues related to forensic DNA typing. He is also an Instructor at U.C. Davis in the Masters in Forensic Science program. Rockne retired in 2007 after a 33 year career as a Senior Deputy District Attorney for Alameda County, California. Rock was the prosecutor in a triple murder case that established the general acceptance of conventional serological methods, the precursor to today's DNA technology.( People v. Lawrence Reilly). At Alameda County, he developed a highly successful protocol for solving old or unsolved cases using DNA typing. In 1998 he received an award from the FBI Director for his efforts supporting the FBI in their first decade of DNA typing and in 2003 he received the Achievement Award from the International Homicide Investigators' Association for his work on cold cases. He was the driving force behind the California Attorney General's decision to implement familial DNA searching in California that led to the arrest of the "Grim Sleeper" serial killer in 2010. Rockne is a Fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and was one of the prosecutors in People v. O. J. Simpson. Rockne graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1967 and served four years active duty. He served a combat tour in Vietnam as Officer in Charge of a Navy Swift Boat and received the Purple Heart for wounds received in combat. After his military service he attended the University of San Francisco School of Law and graduated in 1974.
Sergeant Mike Huff is 35 year veteran of the Tulsa Police Department and has 31 years experience as a homicide investigator and supervisor. Mike has been the supervisor of the TPD Homicide Unit and Cold Case Investigations for the past 16 years and is co-founder of the International Association of Cold Case Investigators (IACCI). He has investigated notable homicide and cold cases featured on 60 Minutes, 48 Hours, Cold Case Files, Forensic Files and other national programs. He is an instructor in homicide investigation, cold case investigation, use of force investigations and interview/interrogation in Oklahoma and across the United States. Read an interview with Mike
Ted Hunt is Chief Trial Attorney at the Jackson County Prosecutor's Office in Kansas City. He has been a prosecutor for 20 years. He is currently in charge of all cold case, sex crimes, child homicide, child abuse, and domestic violence prosecutions in Kansas City, Missouri. Mr. Hunt has tried over 100 jury trials, most of which have involved the presentation of forensic evidence. He is also a teaching faculty member for a number of federal agencies and organizations that train attorneys, law enforcement, and laboratory analysts in the courtroom presentation of DNA evidence. Mr. Hunt is a member of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, the Midwestern Association of Forensic Scientists, and is a member of the Bar in the states of Missouri and Kansas.
Kimberly Hurst is the Executive Director of the Wayne County Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner’s Program (WC SAFE). Kimberly has a Bachelors in Exercise Physiology from Michigan State University; a Masters Degree in Kinesiology from the University of Minnesota and a Masters Degree in Physician Assistant Studies from Wayne State University. Prior to becoming a Certified Physician Assistant in 2001, she worked as a Certified Athletic Trainer for 3 years. After getting her PA Degree, she immediately began working in Emergency Medicine in the under-served city of Detroit where she has now worked for 12 years.
In 2001, she took a Basic SANE course, and was hooked! She began working as an independent contractor for SANE Programs in both Oakland and Macomb counties. After gaining experience in the field for 2 years, she felt it necessary to embark on implementing SANE services in Wayne County.
In January of 2006, WC SAFE opened it doors out of one small clinic location in northeast Detroit, with only herself and a handful of SANE nurses. During the first year, they cared for 120 sexual assault survivors. 7 years later, WC SAFE services almost 700 survivors a year; has 4 clinic sites around the county; employs 6 full time staff, 2 part time staff, and 20 independently contracted SANE nurses; and also provides crisis intervention, advocacy and counseling services – all on a 24/7 basis and at no charge to survivors.
Kimberly also continues to practice Emergency Medicine regularly as a Physician Assistant.
Lisa Hurst, a consultant at Gordon Thomas Honeywell Governmental Affairs, has worked in government affairs for 16 years, and has been directly involved in much of the forensic DNA research and policy formulation conducted at the firm. She is responsible for publishing a monthly report on national and international news and legislation affecting forensic DNA policies. The monthly report, distributed to over 8,000 recipients, is well-regarded by criminal justice professionals as a reliable and unique source of information about forensic DNA. Before joining the firm, Ms. Hurst worked in Washington, DC, for a Member of Congress and most recently as an associate with a large DC lobbying firm.
Chris Jenkins has worked at the Dallas County District Attorney's Office for the past 20 years, thirteen of those years as the victim witness coordinator. She is a founding member of the Crime Victims Council of Dallas County. Chris received the TDCAA Professional Victim Witness Coordinator's certification in 2001 and the Practitioner Award from the Texas Crime Victim Clearinghouse in 2004. She has presented for the Crime Victim Clearinghouse, the Texas Attorney General, the Texas Crime Victims' Institute, the Texas District and County Attorney's Association, and the Dallas County Sheriff's Academy. Chris holds bachelor's and master's degrees in history.
Debbie Jones is a victim advocate who was attacked and sexually assaulted at knifepoint in 1985 at the age of 19. The man sentenced to two life sentences for the crime was exonerated by post-conviction DNA testing in 2008. The actual rapist was identified months later through the CODIS system, though currently the statute of limitations in Texas prevents his prosecution. Ms. Jones has spoken to the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the Texas District and County Attorney's Association and the National Conference of State Legislatures. She helped HB 1318 through the New Hampshire Legislative Committee, which reintroduces victim's services in post-conviction exonerations. Ms. Jones has participated on victim impact panels for the University of North Texas to train victim's advocates, and criminal justice and sociology students on the complex needs of victims. Having journeyed from violation to forgiveness, Ms. Jones is committed to assisting victims across the country to survive, heal, and thrive. Read an interview with Debbie
Vicki Kelly is the mother of Tommy Kelly, whose remains were recovered in 2000 after being missing for a year and a half. Tommy was 17 years old when he went missing. Vicki is co-founder and executive director of the Tommy Foundation in Phoenix, Oregon. She is a senior team coordinator for Team Hope at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. She is also a member of the Surviving Parent Coalition (SPC) and chair of the SPC Law Enforcement Best Practice committee. In 2001, she and her family successfully advocated for passage of the Tommy Laws in Oregon. These laws mandate immediate listing of any missing child in the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database, law enforcement training on missing children cases, and stiffer penalties for delivery of a controlled substance by an adult to a minor. In 2007, she successfully worked with the Oregon legislature and Oregon law enforcement for passage of missing person legislation (the Gaddis Pond Ramirez Act). This legislation established policies and procedures for taking missing person reports, investigating missing person cases, and identifying unidentified human remains. Read an interview with Vicki
Greggory S. LaBerge is the Scientific Director and Bureau Commander of the Denver Police Department Crime Laboratory and has worked at the Denver Police Department for 15 years. Prior to his promotion, Gregg was responsible for the operation of the Forensic Biology/DNA Section of the laboratory and in cooperation with Lt. Jon Priest of Denver's Major Crimes Unit, started Denver's cold case project in 1999 and worked with NIJ over the last 11 years to build one of the most successful DNA cold case programs in the United States. Gregg has provided support to the forensic community through teaching at the National Forensic Science Technology Center and around the world in collaboration with the U.S. State Department. Gregg holds an Honours Bachelor of Science degree in Molecular Biology and Genetics from the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada, a Master of Science degree in Biostatistics from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center and a Doctorate in Human Medical Genetics from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, Colorado.
Assistant Chief Mary Lentschke is a native Houstonian and a 30-year veteran of the Houston Police Department. She joined the department in 1983 and during the next 21 years promoted through the ranks, achieving the level of Captain in 2004. In 2013, she was appointed to the rank of Assistant Chief and currently oversees the department’s East Patrol Command. Assistant Chief Lentschke attended Sam Houston State University, where she earned both a Bachelor of Science and a Masters of Science Degree in the field of Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Administration. She is a graduate of the FBI Academy, Class #203.
Dr. David Lisak is a researcher and forensic consultant who for 25 years has studied the causes and consequences of interpersonal violence. His work has focused on the long term effects of sexual abuse in men, the relationship between child abuse and violence, and the motives and characteristics of rapists. Dr. Lisak has served as a consultant to judicial, prosecutor and law enforcement education programs across the country, and has conducted workshops in all fifty states. He consults widely with universities, the four services of the U.S. Military, the Department of Defense, and other institutions regarding sexual assault prevention and policies, and frequently serves as an expert witness in homicide and sexual assault cases. Dr. Lisak is a founding member of 1in6, a non-profit agency that serves men who were sexually abused as children.
Ms. Malott is the Crisis Intervention Supervisor at the YWCA – St. Louis Regional Sexual Assault Center, supervising the hospital and police advocacy programs.
Retiring as a Detective Sergeant in 2012 from the Phoenix Police Department, Jim has over 30 years of law enforcement experience. During his career he oversaw more than 6,000 sexual assault investigation and in 2000, developed and implemented the Phoenix Police Departments Sex Crime Cold Case Unit. Currently, he consults and trains law enforcement in all areas of Violence Against Women, from sexual assault, domestic violence, SART development to crime scene and cold case investigations.
Sergeant McVey has been a police officer with the Bensalem Township Police Department in Pennsylvania since 1998. He has spent time in the patrol division as a field training officer, K-9 handler, and squad supervisor. He was reassigned to the detective division in 2008 and is currently responsible for the supervision the department's Criminal Investigations Unit. Sergeant McVey is part of the team responsible for the development and current administration of the department's DNA program.
Melissa Meyers has been working, since 2006, as a forensic scientist in the biology unit of the Indiana State Police Laboratory in Indianapolis. She is an associate member in both the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and the Midwestern Association of Forensic Scientists. She received her bachelor of science degree in human biology and her master of science degree in forensic science from Michigan State University.
District Attorney of Denver, Colorado, Mitchell Morrissey is internationally recognized for his expertise in DNA technology in criminal prosecutions. A veteran prosecutor, he introduced the first DNA evidence used in a criminal trial in Denver, and has worked extensively on the Denver Cold Case Project, where more than 4,200 unsolved sexual assaults and murders have been reviewed in an effort to solve them using DNA evidence. Along with the Denver Police Department, he is also implementing the use of DNA to solve burglary cases and other property crimes. Mr. Morrissey is one of the lead proponents of using Familial DNA Database Searches in the United States and directs the Denver DNA Human Identification Research Project, which is studying the use of familial DNA searches in criminal investigations in Denver and Colorado.
Mike Nance is the Co-founder of the International Association of Cold Case Investigators (IACCI). Mike retired in May, 2010 after 38 years with the Tulsa Police Department. His assignments included patrol, fugitive warrant task force, planning & research, foot patrol in public housing, mounted patrol, crime analysis, street crimes, and the Detective Division. His investigative assignments included Domestic Violence, Major Crimes, and Homicide. For the last 15 years in the Tulsa PD, he worked approximately 1000 equivocal death investigations and approximately 250 homicides, working as the lead investigator on 100 of those cases. Mike currently owns a private investigation agency licensed and bonded in Oklahoma. He is also a "Team Adam" Consultant and "Project Alert" Volunteer with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). Read an interview with Mike
Detective Rick Noble has been a police officer with the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department for 15 years. He has been a detective in the Sex Crimes unit for over nine
years with considerable focus on cold DNA hit cases.
Lieutenant Belinda Null is a seventeen year veteran with the Houston Police Department. She is currently assigned to the Juvenile Division where she is the lieutenant of the Juvenile Sex Crimes Unit. The unit investigates sexual assault related incidents perpetrated against juvenile victims or by juvenile suspects. Previously, Lieutenant Null was a Sergeant within the Juvenile Division where she supervised a squad of investigators and was responsible for case management of child sexual abuse cases.
Rebecca joined RAINN in 2013 as the vice president for public policy. She has dedicated her career to the fields of criminal and civil justice, with a focus on advancing policies that support victims and promote justice. Becca Massachusetts state government, first as Counsel to the Massachusetts Senate Committee on Ways and Means, and then as the legislative liaison for the Massachusetts Office for Victim Assistance. Becca has also held leadership positions in several nonprofits, including the Parkinson's Action Network and the American Association for Justice. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Randolph-Macon Woman's College and her Juris Doctor degree from Vermont Law School.
Amanda Fox Overman
Amanda is the CODIS administrator and forensic biologist with the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation (SBI). She graduated from UNC Chapel Hill with a B.S. in Clinical Laboratory Science and was an intern with the SBI Crime Laboratory while in college. Amanda then worked in the Stem Cell Laboratory at Duke University Medical Center. A year later, she was hired by the SBI as a DNA Database Analyst and was soon promoted to Special Agent/Forensic Biologist. She completed basic law enforcement training (BLET) and the SBI Academy prior to returning to the lab for an extensive training in the processing of DNA in casework. As a Forensic Biologist, she has performed the DNA analyses in many cases from across the state and testified to the results of her analyses as an expert witness on numerous occasions. In 2008, she took on the additional role of CODIS State Administrator. In this role, she is responsible for performing searches in CODIS and evaluating all potential CODIS matches. As a result of recent legislative changes, Amanda is currently working to implement the collection DNA samples from individuals arrested for certain offenses. Amanda is a North Carolina native who grew up in Hickory.
Patti Powers, JD, is a Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney for Yakima County, Washington, and a national speaker, trainer, and consultant. For twenty years, Ms. Powers has prosecuted child and adult sexual assault, child and adult homicide, domestic violence and other felonies including property and commercial crimes. Ms. Powers is recognized nationally as an expert, keynote speaker, and trainer in the areas of sexual assault and domestic violence trial advocacy. She is a faculty member and trainer for the American Prosecutors Research Institute, National District Attorneys Association, and AEquitas and served as a trainer for the National Center for Women in Policing. She served as a member of the advisory committee and faculty for the National Judicial Education Program and was a prosecutor trainer for the initial series of "Understanding Sexual Violence" which was presented throughout the United States. In January, 2009, Ms. Powers began serving part-time as a highly qualified expert (HQE) for the United States Army in sexual assault investigations. She has been selected as a presenter at each of the five Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) national conferences.
Jennifer Pierce-Weeks is a past-President of the International Association of Forensic Nurses and has served on the IAFN Board since 2006. Jennifer is presently Manager of the Forensic Nurse Examiner Program at Memorial Hospital in Colorado Springs, and previously served for 12 years as the Director of the State of New Hampshire Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Program. She has 23 years nursing experience and is an educator and expert in the areas of child and adult sexual assault, as well as domestic violence. She is a contributing author for several Attorney General protocols in New Hampshire and is published in the Journal of Emergency Nursing and the Journal of Forensic Nursing. Jennifer has extensive experience as a local and national trainer, as well as a clinician, and is an item-writer for both the adult and pediatric Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner certification programs through the IAFN. Read an interview with Jennifer
Lore A Rogers
Lore A. Rogers is a staff attorney with the State of Michigan Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Prevention and Treatment Board. Previously, she worked as the Interim Co-Director of the Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Center at the University of Michigan, as the Director of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Services Program at the YWCA of Greater Flint, and as the Legal Advocacy Director at Domestic Violence Project, Inc./SAFE House in Washtenaw County. Lore also worked as a domestic violence grant coordinator and pretrial probation compliance officer with the Washtenaw County Trial Courts. Lore has an extensive background providing direct services to survivors of domestic and sexual violence, as well as teaching and training on issues of intimate partner and sexual violence. For several years Lore served as an adjunct professor on Domestic Violence Law at the Michigan State University College of Law. In addition to her work in Michigan, Lore has served as faculty at state and national conferences on domestic violence in Illinois, South Dakota, Maine, Mississippi, Wyoming, and Washington, D.C.
Steven Siegel came to the Denver District Attorney's Office in 1983, after seven years in the First Judicial District Attorney's Office in Colorado. As director of the Special Programs Unit, the creation and supervision of cutting-edge Criminal Justice Programs is an integral part of his work. These programs include the Cold Case DNA Project, Justice Review Project (Post-Conviction DNA Innocence Review), Witness Protection Program (including Grand Jury), Victim Services Network, Juvenile Diversion Program, Domestic Violence Fast Track Program, Community Advocacy Program, Elder Abuse Response, Communities Against Senior Exploitation, and Courtrooms to Classrooms. Mr. Siegel is the past chair and current member of the Governor's Advisory Council on Victims of Crime. He was recently appointed by the governor as a founding member of the Colorado Criminal Justice Commission. He co-chaired the committee that led to the passage of the Colorado Constitutional Amendment for Crime Victims' Rights and is a past president and current co-chair of the Legislative Committee of the Colorado Organization for Victim Assistance. He has been a consultant and trainer for the National Organization for Victim Assistance, National Center for Victims of Crime, National Association of Crime Victim Compensation Boards, U.S. Department of Education, National Victim Assistance Academy, and the National College of District Attorneys. He has spoken and been published both nationally and internationally on the subject of family violence, criminal victimization, community intervention, and nonprofit development and management. In April 2006 he was presented with the National Crime Victim Services Award by the Attorney General of the United States.
On August 31, 2003, Jayann Sepich's daughter, Katie, a graduate student at New Mexico State University, was brutally raped and murdered. In the aftermath of that experience, Ms. Sepich and her family have made it their mission to see legislation passed in all 50 states to mandate DNA testing upon felony arrest. Called "Katie's Law," such legislation was implemented in New Mexico on January 1, 2007. New Mexico has so far had 61 DNA matches from arrestees to criminal cases, and a total of 17 states now have similar legislation. Ms. Sepich has been honored by Governor Bill Richardson of New Mexico as an Outstanding New Mexico Woman of 2007, and was inducted into the New Mexico Women's Hall of Fame. She was also honored by Redbook magazine in October 2008 with their "Strength and Spirit Award." Ms. Sepich and her husband recently cofounded DNA Saves to educate policy makers and the public about the value of forensic DNA.
In 1989, a masked intruder entered Debbie Smith's home and abducted, robbed, and repeatedly raped her in the woods behind her house. The crime went unsolved for more than six years until DNA made a cold hit on a repeat offender. Since the end of a lengthy trial, Ms. Smith has been intent on helping other victims and trying to prevent others from becoming victims. She has appeared on several TV shows including 60 Minutes and Oprah and has been interviewed in numerous magazines and newspapers. A federal law with Ms. Smith's name attached (The Justice for All Act of 2004) authorizes funding to: eliminate the backlog of untested rape kits; train first responders such as police, EMTs, and nurses; and standardize rape kits nationwide. Ms. Smith speaks at conferences across the United States and Canada and is the founder of H-E-A-R-T, Inc., a nonprofit foundation established to aid victims of sexual assault. Read and interview with Debbie
Sen. Debbie Smith
Debbie Smith has lived in Nevada most of her life. Her family moved to Nevada when she was in 4th grade and she has grown up with Nevada values; loving the outdoors and the community feeling that Nevadans share. Debbie was elected to the Nevada Assembly in 2000 where she rounded out her service as chairman of the Ways & Means Committee and Speaker Pro Tempore. In 2012 she was elected to the Nevada Senate and, in her first term, serves as the Assistant Majority Leader and chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. In the 2013 legislative session, Debbie championed Brianna’s Law that requires a DNA sample for those arrested for felony crimes. In 2013 Senator Smith was elected president-elect of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) and will assume the presidency in 2014. She is the first Nevada legislator to serve as an officer for the largest organization representing state legislatures.
Rob Smith retired from the Williamsburg, Virginia, Police Department as a Lt. Detective with more than 25 years of service to help run H-E-A-R-T, Inc., where he serves as president and treasurer for the foundation. Together with his wife, Debbie Smith, he speaks at conferences, bringing his police experience together with his experience as a secondary victim and the husband of a rape survivor. His primary focus is in training first responders on how to better understand the mindset of a victim of sexual assault. He currently serves on the board of directors for the local Williamsburg area battered women's shelter, AVALON, for the local SANE program, and on the Colonial Area Taskforce on Domestic and Sexual Assault. He graduated summa cum laude from St. Leo's University with a bachelor's degree in criminal justice.
Scott M. Snow is the director of the Victim Assistance Unit of the Denver Police Department (DPD), which provides on-scene crisis intervention and assistance to victims and witnesses 24-hours a day, 365 days a year. During his 17 years with the DPD, Mr. Snow developed a number of innovative programs and services designed to enhance the department's continued commitment to providing relevant and effective services to victims of crime. In 2005, Mr. Snow, along with the DPD's emerging Cold Case Unit, established the nation's first law enforcement-based Cold Case Victim Program. This program has become a model for law enforcement agencies across the country. Mr. Snow has conducted state-wide and national trainings focusing on the development of cold case victim services and has provided state-wide, national and international workshops related to multiple aspects of victim services, program creation, and implementation.
B.J. Spamer joined the University of North Texas Center for Human Identification's Forensic Services Unit (FSU) as a Program Manager in June 2010. Prior to the FSU, she spent almost nine years with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, where she assisted medical examiners, coroners, law enforcement officers and family members with long-term missing and unidentified child cases. She has presented on topics related to DNA, CODIS, and missing person investigations since 2004. Ms. Spamer also worked as an Intelligence Analyst for the Kansas Bureau of Investigation and Kansas City (Missouri) Police Department. She received a Bachelor's Degree in Behavioral and Social Science from the University of Maryland in 2001 and a Master's Degree in Forensic Science from The George Washington University.
Herbert R. Tanner, Jr.
A 1986 graduate of the University of Notre Dame Law School, Mr. Tanner began his career in private practice where he successfully defended felony and misdemeanor cases. He joined the Prosecutor's Office in Montcalm County, Michigan, in 1994 and was made Chief Assistant in 1999. In 2003 he received the Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan’s Distinguished Faculty Award. He joined the PAAM in 2003 and is the Director of the Violence Against Women Project. In 2004 the VAW Project published his Domestic Violence Trial Manual. Mr. Tanner’s articles have been published in The Georgia Prosecutor,
American Bar Association’s Criminal Justice Section Newsletter, the Michigan Bar Family Law Journal, NDAA’s Prosecutor
magazine, and the Sexual Assault Report with John Wilkinson of Aequitas. He has lectured extensively on topics including the impact of the Crawford
case, domestic violence and sexual assault prosecutions, and visual trials. He has served as faculty several for the National District Attorney's Association at the National Advocacy Center, lecturing on defense tactics in DUI Homicide, Sexual Assault Trial Advocacy, and Evidenced Based Domestic Violence Prosecutions, among other topics
. He has served as faculty for the International Association of Chiefs of Police for its Leadership Institute on Violence Against Women, Campus Leadership Institute on Violence Against Women, and its Train-the-Trainer Program. He worked with APRI and the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape on the committee to develop the National Institute for the Prosecution of Sexual Violence, and has been part of the faculty for the Institute.
Monica L. Urbaniak is the Bilingual Sexual Assault Therapist for the Dallas Area Rape Crisis Center. Ms. Urbaniak holds a Master of Science Degree from New Mexico State University and is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Board Approved Supervisor. She has worked with survivors of trauma for the past 10 years and is a member of the Dallas County Sexual Assault Coalition, the Dallas County Domestic Violence Awareness Coalition, and is a former board member for the Dallas Area Rape Crisis Center. Ms. Urbaniak has been an advocate for the rights of sexual assault survivors for many years and currently serves as the President of the Board for the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault.
Brandi Watson has been working with sexual assault survivors for 11 years and is certified as a sexual assault victim advocate in Illinois and Indiana. Since 2001, Ms. Watson has been providing peer counseling, legal advocacy, medical advocacy, crisis intervention, and support group facilitation for sexual assault victims and their friends and family throughout 11 counties in southern Indiana at Albion Fellows Bacon Center (AFBC) in Evansville, Indiana. She also provides prevention education, professional trainings, and community trainings on many topics related to sexual violence. Ms. Watson has trained law enforcement, medical staff, agencies, and community groups on sexual assault dynamics, prevention of sexual assault, date/acquaintance rape, date rape drugs, community response, and cyber safety. She holds a bachelor's degree in communications and another in sociology.
Detective Barbara Wimmer has been a police officer in the state of Colorado for 30 years, the last 13 years with the Denver Police Department. With an extensive investigative background in sex crimes investigations, she was chosen to help start the Denver Police Department's Cold Case Unit in 2005, which investigates both cold case sex assaults and homicide cases. Through a collaborative partnership with the Denver District Attorney's office, Detective Wimmer has been successful in numerous cold case criminal prosecutions that have resulted in hundreds of years of sentencing time for offenders and a sense of justice for the victims and their families. Detective Wimmer teaches sex crime investigation classes throughout the state and has also been called upon to teach various aspects of cold case investigations.