'Did You Know...?'
Issue 1, 2017
Welcome to the first edition of our 'Did You Know...?' newsletter for 2017. We look forward to continuing to serve the residents of Alameda County with pride and distinction this year and beyond. 

Inside this issue:
  • DA O'Malley unveils a new billboard campaign
  • Human Trafficking Awareness Month
  • Annual Family Justice Center Gala a great success
  • DA O'Malley announces a settlement with Walmart
  • Felony verdicts
DA O'Malley Unveils 2017 Billboard Campaign

On January 19, 2017, Alameda County District Attorney Nancy E. O’Malley introduced 2017’s anti-trafficking public awareness campaign. The campaign directly confronts the buyers of child sex trafficking victims and also calls for the need for men to fight child exploitation.

Timed to coincide with National Human Trafficking Awareness Month, it marks the third year in which a billboard campaign raises awareness of the commercial sexual exploitation of children in Alameda County, the region and the state. The work is the result of a collaborative effort between the District Attorney’s Office and Clear Channel Outdoor, and the billboards appear on roadways and in neighborhoods throughout the County of Alameda.

“I remain dedicated to fighting the epidemic of commercial sexual exploitation. One clear fact is that the singular driving force behind sex trafficking is demand. We hope that the messages on the billboards will highlight this stark reality and engage more people to join our effort to put a stop to this crime,” says DA O’Malley. Read more...

DA O'Malley Announces Settlement with Walmart

On February 1, 2017, DA Nancy O’Malley announced that her office, along with 22 other District Attorney’s Offices in California, settled a consumer protection action against Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (as well as Wal-Mart.com USA, LLC and Wal-Mart subsidiary, Jet.com, Inc.). The Complaint alleges that Walmart sold plastic products in stores and online that were misleadingly labeled “biodegradable” or “compostable” in violation of California law. Read more about the case...

"Unfortunately, Californians concerned with reducing plastic waste in landfills are commonly misled to purchase plastic bags and other plastic products based on marketers’ unsubstantiated claims of biodegradability,” said District Attorney O’Malley, “but almost nothing breaks down in a landfill. That’s why the sale of plastic products labeled ‘biodegradable’ is illegal in California and why today’s settlement is a win for both consumers and the environment.”

The judgment prohibits Walmart from selling plastic products labeled “biodegradable” or with other terms implying the product will break down in a landfill or other environment. Walmart is also prohibited from selling plastic products labeled “compostable” unless a scientific certification supports the claim. Walmart agreed to pay $875,000 in civil penalties and an additional payment of $50,000 to CalRecycle to fund testing of plastic products marketed to consumers as compostable or degradable.  Walmart’s recently purchased subsidiary, Jet.com, agreed to pay an additional $15,000 in civil penalties. 

Annual Gala for the Family Justice Center a Great Success

On January 28, 2017, the Alameda County Family Justice Center held its 10th anniversary Gala at the Rotunda in downtown Oakland. The event was attended by over 300 supporters who enjoyed an evening celebrating the positive impact the ACFJC has had in the lives of over 150,000 victims and their families since it opened in 2005. 

The Gala helps fund the invaluable empowerment programs run by the ACFJC for victims and their families. These programs include:  
  • Camp Hope: a chance for children who have witnessed or experienced violence to heal in a supportive, outdoor education camp.
  • STEP-UP: a women's financial literacy and empowerment course.
  • Legal Clinic: a legal support clinic staffed by trained laywers who assist victims seek the restraining orders and sort out other legal issues they face.
  • Natalie's Nook: offering early childhood programs in reading and others subjects to ensure these young people have the opportunity to succeed.

The ACFJC is a one-stop center providing support and services to victims of domestic violence, sexual assualt, child abuse, elder and dependent adult abuse, and human trafficking. With more than 30 onsite and over 50 offsite agencies serving clients, the ACFJC helps victims recover from their trauma and rebuild their lives. For more information, please call the ACFJC on (510) 267-8800.

Human Trafficking Awareness Month

Recently, the Alameda County Board of Supervisors proclaimed January as Human Trafficking Awareness Month. 

Head of the HEAT Unit, Assistant District Attorney Joni Leventis, received the Proclamation from Supervisor Wilma Chan on behalf of the DA's Office HEAT Watch team and our hard working community partners involved in anti-trafficking work.

For more information about our efforts in combatting sex trafficking and labor trafficking in Alameda County, please visit our HEAT Watch page.
Felony Verdicts

People v Joseph Ochoa

On January 6, 2017, a jury found defendant Joseph Ochoa guilty of 8 counts of child sexual assault. Read the summary...

Notwithstanding the years of sexual abuse, and perhaps as a way of dealing with it, Jane Doe kept her focus on sport and has had great success. She is now attending college on a sports scholarship.

Defendant Joseph Ochoa is scheduled to be sentenced on March 3, 2017.

The case was prosecuted by DDA John Mifsud with assistance from DA Inspector Gus Galindo and Victim-Witness Advocate Nicole Santos.

People v  Anthony L Durant

On January 31, 2017, a jury found Defendant Anthony L Durant guilty of the second degree murder of Christian Sheppard and unlawful firearm activity. Read the summary...

Defendant Anthony L Durant is scheduled to be sentenced on March 24, 2017.

The case was prosecuted by DDA Jimmie Wilson with assistance from DA Inspector James Rullamas and Victim-Witness Advocate Liliana Bueno.

Questions ?
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If you would like to see a particular question answered in our next newsletter, please email us at  info@alcoda.org
Quick Links
Odyssey (Alameda County Courts Portal) : For information pertaining to specific cases. 

Criminal Docket Finder Find out when the next court date is for a particular case. 

Inmate Locator Find out the custody status of a person of interest.

Alameda County DA's Office website View up-to-date news and information about the office at our website.

Alameda County Family Justice Center (ACFJC) website: The ACFJC  is a 1-stop location that provides victims of crime with legal, health, and support services, and the opportunity for physical and psychological safety, recovery and well-being.

HEAT Watch HEAT Watch is the anti-human trafficking program run by the DA's Office. It coordinates the response to help fight trafficking in the Bay Area and beyond. 

DA Speakers Bureau We provide speakers for your next school or community meeting who come to you with decades of expertise about the law, the criminal justice system and how we at the DA's Office can help you if you have been the victim of a crime. 

Point of View The well-known legal educational tool written and published by the DA's Office.
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