August 2019
Volume 4, Issue 8
Dear Friends:
My office is distributing posters to hotels and motels throughout Los Angeles County urging victims of human sex and labor trafficking to call a hotline for help.

The posters are part of a statewide victim assistance notification effort that began with businesses and other establishments, such as bars and bus stations, where these crimes often occur. 
Dear Friends:
Spotlight: Alternative Sentencing Courts Help Defendants, Reduce Crime
Kimberly Hassett represents a new kind of deputy district attorney.

Her work involves collaborating with defense attorneys, judges and representatives from social service agencies to help defendants get their lives back on track.

In 2014, District Attorney Jackie Lacey named Hassett the office’s first Alternative Sentencing Courts Coordinator. She and 15 other deputy district attorneys provide assistance to their colleagues in determining if cases are appropriate for the alternative sentencing courts.

These courts focus on the root causes of an offender's criminal behavior and address those issues through treatment in an effort to help defendants become productive community members. These alternatives also free up more jail space for serious and violent offenders.

Hassett worked for many years as a deputy district attorney in branch courts and the Sex Crimes Division before being assigned to Drug Court in Compton in 2003. She has worked in the downtown Los Angeles alternative sentencing courts since 2009.

“It’s a more humane and intelligent approach to criminal justice,” Hassett said. “It’s treating defendants with serious substance abuse and mental health issues as individuals rather than as criminals who need to be punished.”

Deputy district attorneys assigned to alternative sentencing courts must consider the severity of the offense, past firearm use, past threats of violence, the extent of any injury suffered by the victim and the defendant’s addiction severity, mental health issues and attitude toward treatment.

The office staffs Drug Courts, Veterans Court, the Second Chance Women’s Re-Entry Court, Community Collaborative Court and Co-Occurring Disorders Court.

The county’s newest alternative sentencing court, known as the Office of Diversion and Reentry (ODR) Court, has placed more than 3,500 inmates into housing in community-based settings with medical and psychological support since its inception in 2016.

Seventy percent of defendants remain conviction-free in the five years following completion of Drug Court. For Women’s Re-Entry Court, 82 percent do not return to court in the first three years.

Although alternative sentencing courts focus on rehabilitation, Hassett said the office’s first priority remains public safety and safeguarding victims’ rights.
Fraud Alert
  Significant Cases
Investors should beware of bitcoin peddlers who offer big discounts and guarantee huge returns.

Read the Fraud Alert and watch the video here .
  • A Long Beach man was sentenced to more than 10 years in state prison for embezzlement. Learn how he was able to steal nearly $1 million from his victims. 

  • A 59-year-old woman has been accused of crashing her vehicle into a South Los Angeles apartment, killing a mother as she slept next to her child. Find out what charges were filed.

  • A man who sexually assaulted a 13-year-old girl and two women inside their homes was sentenced to 26 years in state prison. Read where these attacks took place.
Deputy District Attorneys Help Victim
Who Lost Service Dog
Deputy district attorneys in the Antelope Valley took action when they learned the beloved dog of a woman with special needs had been mauled to death by another dog.

Jo Bradfield was with her 11-pound, 6-year-old silky terrier, Sharkey, pictured left, in 2017, when she went to a Lancaster store. Two of the store owner’s dogs lunged at the service dog, and one mauled Sharkey to death. The dog owner was issued a citation and ordered to appear in court.

The prosecutors had nothing to do with the original case because it was an infraction, a violation of law punishable by a fine that is filed directly with the court.

But when the judge refused to set a restitution hearing in the case, Head Deputy District Attorney Robert Sherwood came to the rescue.

He agreed with Bradfield that she should not have to file a civil lawsuit to seek compensation for the death of her service dog, and he asked the office’s appellate attorneys to help out.

Deputy District Attorney Cassandra Thorp filed an appeal and argued that Bradfield, like any other victim of crime in California, has a constitutional right to restitution. It did not matter, she said, if the crime against her is an infraction.

The appellate court agreed on May 30. Because of Sherwood and Thorp, Bradfield will have the opportunity later this year to seek compensation at a restitution hearing.

For Bradfield, Sharkey was more than a typical service dog.

Bradfield lives with intermittent episodes of severe disorientation in which she becomes unaware of her surroundings. The dog sensed these episodes occurring even if humans did not. Sharkey would guide Bradfield to a safe location or lick her face until her awareness returned.

Replacing such a specialized service animal is expected to cost tens of thousands of dollars.
LADA Charges MS-13
Gang Members With Murder
District Attorney Jackie Lacey announced that murder charges were filed against 17 MS-13 gang members in the killings of six people in Los Angeles County between June 2017 and January 2019 at a July 17 news conference with U.S. Attorney Nicola T. Hanna.

“The greatest tragedy in these cases is that these young victims likely left their homelands hopeful that in the United States they would find safety and prosperity,” District Attorney Lacey said. “Instead, these victims had the misfortune of crossing paths with violent gang members who preyed on the vulnerabilities of their immigrant experience. My office will vigorously prosecute these defendants and continue to work with other agencies to enhance public safety in the communities where MS-13 and other brutal gangs operate.”
Breault Marks 50th Year as DDA
District Attorney Jackie Lacey presented a scroll and lapel pin to Deputy District Attorney John Breault in recognition of his 50th year with the office. Breault, who began work as a deputy district attorney on Feb. 3, 1969, was one of two employees who reached the 50-year milestone in 2019. Dorothy “Dottie” Neal, a legal office support assistant assigned to the Bureau of Communications, began work with Los Angeles County on Jan. 31, 1969.
Did You Know...?
District Attorney Jackie Lacey, pictured right, prosecuted California’s first race-based hate crime murder. Three white supremacists were found guilty in the 1995 killing of Milton Walker Jr. The 43-year-old homeless man was beaten to death because he was African-American. They were sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Click here to listen to District Attorney Lacey talk about her most memorable case.
Sketch by Bill Robles
Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office | (213) 974-3512 |

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