June 2018
Volume 3, Issue 6
Dear Friends:
In November, in response to the widespread allegations of criminal sexual abuse in the entertainment industry, I established a special task force to oversee these cases.

My goal is to work with law enforcement agencies to thoroughly investigate the allegations and prosecute those crimes that fall within the statute of limitations.
Spotlight: Forensic Science Section
Cold criminal cases solved through DNA analysis have made headlines for decades now – and especially in recent weeks with the purported capture of the so-called Golden State Killer.

The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office – while not involved in that particular investigation – has been at the vanguard of efforts to expand and refine the use of DNA evidence, which has led to the arrest of serial killers, rapists and burglars.

The nerve center of the office’s efforts in addressing DNA evidence is the Forensic Science Section, which works with prosecutors to provide the latest information on DNA analysis technology and other scientific methods and techniques used in criminal investigations.

The section is led by Deputy-in-Charge Marguerite Rizzo, who brings unique skills to the job. Before joining the District Attorney’s Office, Rizzo spent 10 years working in the fields of microbiology and molecular biology and was a research scientist at Stanford University and the University of California, Los Angeles.

Rizzo, pictured above, left, Deputy District Attorney Lee Cernok, center, and Legal Office Support Assistant Georgianna Johnson stay on top of the latest technology, changing analysis methods and criminal lab policies. They also monitor a database that gives notice if a collected DNA profile is consistent with crime-scene evidence in an unsolved case.

Rizzo helps create DNA search procedures, such as the office policy for utilizing familial DNA. In such a search, crime scene DNA evidence is run through the convicted offender database for information that points to a relative of the potential suspect.

Before an arrest may take place, a DNA match must be made between crime scene evidence and genetic evidence collected from the suspect’s discarded property.

This policy came into play in the so-called “Grim Sleeper” murders of nine young women and a teenage girl in South Los Angeles, which Rizzo successfully co-prosecuted in 2016.

A second case using a familial DNA search resulted in the arrest of a Torrance man last year in the killings of two women in 2011. A trial in that case is pending.
Fraud Alert
  Significant Cases
Don’t let hidden costs and restrictions turn a dream vacation into a disappointment.

Read the Fraud Alert and watch the video here .
  • A 19-year-old Covina man was sentenced for the drug overdose death of his girlfriend. Read more about this case.

  • A teenager driving a bright red Mustang led police on a televised pursuit that ended in Downey. Learn what criminal charges were filed.

  • A Bellflower man was sentenced to more than 47 years in prison for pimping an underage girl. Find out more about this human trafficking case.
Volunteers of the Year
One is a compassionate counselor and the other a technological wizard.
Both brought their drive to help others to the District Attorney’s Office as volunteers. And both recently were selected as the office’s volunteers of the year.

Mary Glenn, pictured left, serves as the office chaplain. An ordained pastor and educator, Glenn has volunteered with the office since 2016. She provides spiritual guidance, emotional support and encouragement to members of the office who are experiencing grief, trauma and other challenges.

She has assisted the office by offering invocations at major events, participating in the office’s peer support group meetings and providing training and resources on matters such as trauma care and stress management.

“I see people who have demanding roles and jobs, and I want to offer support and care for those who give sacrificially to the community,” Glenn said. “If I can alleviate the burden they feel a bit, that’s a gift to me.”

Volunteer Benjamin Deuson, a recent graduate from the University of La Verne, pictured below, joined the office in 2016 and has contributed more than 2,700 hours of his time. He initially assisted in the Systems Division, which handles the office’s information network. But Deuson’s high-tech acumen later was put to use by the prosecutors and investigators in the office’s Cyber Crime Division.

He assisted in creating a monitoring mechanism that can help identify cyberattacks against the office’s website. Deuson also helped prosecutors quickly sort through electronic records to identify a certain classification of documents.

Deuson, who has been working on programming and coding of computers since he was in middle school, said he appreciates the latitude the office has given him to explore different options to solving problems and the opportunity to get hands-on experience.

“It was rewarding to help employees get the information and the facts that they want and need,” Deuson said. “I hope that it helps more people down the line.”

Glenn and Deuson and other county volunteers were honored at a luncheon ceremony in April. They are among thousands of volunteers who contribute tens of millions of dollars in services to the county annually.
Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day
More than 60 children came to the Hall of Justice on May 1 as part of Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day. The children heard from District Attorney Jackie Lacey, prosecutors and investigators and got to see Laura, a narcotics detection dog, in action.
Did You Know...?
Griffith Park’s namesake was convicted and sentenced to two years in prison for shooting his wife. In 1903, Griffith J. Griffith, a mining tycoon, reportedly had a drunken altercation with his spouse in a Santa Monica hotel and shot her in the forehead. She survived, and he was charged with attempted murder by District Attorney J.D. Fredericks. Jurors convicted Griffith of a lesser charge, assault with a deadly weapon.
Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office | (213) 974-3512 | info@da.lacounty.gov

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