Part III: The Principles of Witness Protection

Join AEquitas for the third of a three-part webinar series that explores the ways in which offenders and their allies intimidate victims and witnesses of crime, the effects of intimidation on the criminal justice system response, and the methods for preventing and responding to witness intimidation. Part III of the series focuses on the principles of witness protection, which include tactical considerations, addressing the trauma to the victim/witness, and supporting lifestyle changes. The presenter discusses the importance of determining whether an imminent and credible threat against the life of a victim/witness exists by utilizing a dynamic screening and threat assessment tool, understanding the impact of trauma on the path to change, and recognizing the signs of trauma in clients, families, staff, and others.

Gang-Related Violence Against Women

Gangs are notorious for perpetrating firearm- and drug-related offenses, but many gangs and their members also regularly engage in violence against women, including rape, physical violence, and human trafficking. Gang members use physical and sexual violence to control their victims and the communities within which they operate. Additionally, some gangs engage in trafficking to exploit gang members and non-members to increase gang profits. The pervasive nature of gang-related violence, combined with gang members’ habitual intimidation of victims and witnesses, present unique challenges to the effective investigation and prosecution of these cases.

This presentation discusses tangible strategies for improving the identification, investigation, and prosecution of gang-related violence against women. The presenter explores collaborative methods for supporting victims, enhancing community safety, holding gang offenders accountable, and preventing and effectively responding to witness intimidation.

Overcoming the Consent Defense: Prosecuting Known Offenders

This presentation will address the challenges inherent in prosecuting known offenders and alcohol-facilitated sexual assault, with an emphasis on overcoming the consent defense. The presentation will examine offender characteristics, motivations, and behaviors as well as the impact of the offender’s actions on the victim. The presenter will suggest strategies for overcoming common misconceptions at trial, including the importance of establishing a compelling trial theme, introducing evidence of the defendant’s predatory behavior, presenting corroborating evidence to support witness credibility, and recreating the reality of the crime at trial.

Witness Intimidation Part II: Effective Use of Intimidation Evidence

Part II of the series discusses the identification, documentation, and effective use of evidence of intimidation at trial to hold offenders accountable. The presenter explores how to admit and present evidence to demonstrate the offender’s consciousness of guilt, to explain the absence of a witness, and to introduce an unavailable witness’s statements via the doctrine of forfeiture by wrongdoing.

Drugs as Coercion: Human Trafficking and Toxicology

Human traffickers control their victims through force, fraud, and/or coercion. Coercion, specifically, can take many forms, including seeking out vulnerable victims facing substance abuse. In other cases, traffickers may introduce victims to drugs and alcohol to facilitate their crimes and establish additional control. Understanding basic toxicology better allows law enforcement, prosecutors, and medical professionals to recognize how drugs and alcohol affect a victims’ ability to disclose, participate in the criminal justice system, and recover from the trauma of trafficking.

This webinar recording will identify common dynamics in sex and labor trafficking and describe how drugs and alcohol are used to assert and maintain control over victims and perpetrate trafficking and trafficking-related crimes. The presenter discusses the importance of and strategies for collaborating with service providers and medical professionals to identify drug-facilitated human trafficking, provide much-needed care, and educate other allied professionals about the effects of drug use in the context of trafficking dynamics.

Allied justice system professionals including (but not limited to) prosecutors, law enforcement officers, community-based service providers, probation and parole officers, judges, etc. are encouraged to view the recording.

CLE Credits
This webinar recording should qualify prosecutors for one (1.0) hour of continuing legal education credits. Prosecutors are encouraged to contact their state bar association in reference to application requirements and related fees.