The Sexual Assault/Family Protection Unit handles all misdemeanor
and felony sexual assault, physical child abuse, and domestic
violence cases. All cases are vertically prosecuted, and the
unit supervisor is responsible for unit operations. Within
the Sexual Assault/Family Protection Unit are the following
areas of specialty: elder abuse, victims with disabilities
and statutory rape.
In felony matters, an investigator and victim advocate are assigned upon case filing to assist the attorney as members of the prosecution team. The investigator works closely with the attorney to ensure all evidence is obtained and the case is properly prepared for trial. Much time is spent with the victim to prepare him/her for the trial process. Special care must be taken with child victims. Both attorneys and investigators receive special training in interviewing child victims.
The victim advocate acts as liaison between the victim and the other members of the prosecution team, keeping the victim informed of the progress of the case and pending court appearances. Advocates also offer support to victims throughout the criminal justice process by accompanying them to court proceedings. The prosecution team seeks to make the court experience more understandable and tolerable for each victim.