Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris is starting a new unit to prosecute adults accused of assault and sexual assault crimes against children. “It is a long time overdue,” Harris said Monday, announcing the new team scheduled to be in place by the end of the month. The idea, she said, is to develop expertise in prosecuting the crimes and to convey their importance. People who find out a child has been assaulted may not report it, Harris said, “if they don’t think that there is a priority around the prosecution.” Two sexual assault prosecutors will move over to create the child assault unit. Team leader Linda Moore has worked in the office since 1987, and has led the domestic violence and career criminal units in the past. Assistant DA Wade Chow, who joined the office in 1996, was in the gang violence unit before joining the sexual assault team a few months ago, according to Harris and a statement from her office. Seven-year DA investigator Eric Gallagher and victim advocate Sean Reynolds, a social worker Harris recently recruited from San Francisco General Hospital, are also assigned to the new unit. In the past, the sexual assault team has handled child sexual assaults, while child assaults have been assigned to a wider variety of prosecutors, Harris said. While the regular sexual assault unit prosecutes some of its cases vertically — with one prosecutor assigned to a case from beginning to end — that will be done with all cases in the new unit, Harris said. The DA’s office says it’s charged 64 felony assaults and sexual assaults on children since January, and the current caseload numbers approximately 35. The DA has spoken of dedicating a prosecution team to child sexual assaults since her campaign for district attorney last year. The DA, who took office in January, said Monday that she wanted to implement the new unit by the end of the year, though she hasn’t received any additional funding for it yet. She’s still hoping for more money for additional lawyers, she said. She’s also hoping for corporate support to hire a psychologist who could help victims, as well as educate juries about “syndromatic issues,” according to a statement from her office. Kathleen Baxter, director of the San Francisco Child Abuse Council, said advocates for child victims have been pushing for a specialized unit for a long time. “We hope to make San Francisco a model city in the way we handle crimes against children.” While other prosecutors’ offices may have teams targeting sexual assaults against children, the DA said the new unit will stand out for combining physical and sexual assaults. “The dynamic and the pathology of those crimes is very similar.”

This content has been archived. It is available exclusively through our partner LexisNexis®.

To view this content, please continue to Lexis Advance®.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber? Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® is now the exclusive third party online distributor of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® customers will be able to access and use ALM's content by subscribing to the LexisNexis® services via Lexis Advance®. This includes content from the National Law Journal®, The American Lawyer®, Law Technology News®, The New York Law Journal® and Corporate Counsel®, as well as ALM's other newspapers, directories, legal treatises, published and unpublished court opinions, and other sources of legal information.

ALM's content plays a significant role in your work and research, and now through this alliance LexisNexis® will bring you access to an even more comprehensive collection of legal content.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]


ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2020 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.