February 2020
Volume 5, Issue 2
Dear Friends:
I am appalled by the recent attacks on synagogues in our county and the continued assaults on Muslims, people of color and members of the LGBTQ community.

The Los Angeles Police Department recently reported a 10 percent increase in hate crimes over the previous year -- an unacceptable trend that should concern us all.
Spotlight: Entertainment Industry
Sex Crimes Task Force
District Attorney Jackie Lacey’s Entertainment Industry Sex Crimes Task Force filed sexual assault charges against film producer Harvey Weinstein last month.

It was one of more than 40 cases that have been presented to the task force for review since its inception in November 2017.

Most of the cases were declined for criminal prosecution because the alleged crimes were too old to prosecute or there was insufficient credible evidence to file criminal charges.

Filing sex crime cases can be especially challenging because they often lack corroborating witnesses or physical evidence. Also, some victims delay reporting these crimes to authorities.

In addition, prosecutors must gain the trust of victims and witnesses, especially when accusations involve powerful individuals.

Eight women accused Weinstein of sexual assault over several decades. Three claims were too old to prosecute. Three others remain under review.

In the case that was charged, Jane Doe 1 accused Weinstein of rape in a hotel room in February 2013. She reported the crime to police in 2017 and deputy district attorneys were presented with the completed police investigation on Feb. 1, 2018.

The case of Jane Doe 2 was initially presented to New York prosecutors and then routed to the Los Angeles Police Department, who contacted her on Oct. 29, 2018. Her case was investigated by police and then presented to prosecutors on Feb. 22, 2019.

The investigation required task force members to travel around the United States and to Europe to interview victims and witnesses, some of whom were hesitant to get involved. Deputy district attorneys also had to thoroughly examine police reports, witness statements and materials presented by the defense in determining what criminal charges to file in the case.

To read more about the case, click here.
Fraud Alert
  Significant Cases
Seniors looking for love should be careful of fraudsters out to steal their savings through various ruses.

Click  here  to read the Fraud Alert and view the video.
  • A Temple City father and daughter pleaded no contest to illegally possessing firearms. Learn why one of them may go to prison.

  • Two men were sentenced to state prison for a Downey home invasion robbery that turned deadly when their victim suffered a heart attack. Find out what crimes they committed.

  • A convicted murderer who spent nearly 30 years in state prison was accused of killing an East Los Angeles doctor. Read more about the case.
In Case You Missed It
District Attorney Jackie Lacey issued a report on the office’s investigation into the deaths of racehorses at Santa Anita Park. The report includes more than two dozen recommendations on how to improve safety at all California racetracks.

 Click here to view the report.
New Convictions Follow Exoneration
in a 1996 Compton Shooting
District Attorney Jackie Lacey’s Conviction Review Unit not only exonerated an innocent man but also helped bring the real culprits to justice.

“The work of my Conviction Review Unit does not stop when a wrongfully convicted person is freed from prison,” District Attorney Lacey said. “We continue to seek justice on behalf of victims by reinvestigating the crime and prosecuting the real criminals who, in this case, may have thought they got away with attempted murder.”

When new evidence affirmed that Marco Contreras was innocent, deputy district attorneys turned their efforts to solving the attempted murder case for which he was wrongfully convicted.

Contreras was exonerated on March 23, 2017.

On that day, Contreras was released from state prison after serving 20 years for a crime he did not commit, and deputy district attorneys in the office’s Hardcore Gang Division filed criminal charges against two men who later were convicted for that same crime.

Contreras’ conviction review uncovered key evidence that led to their arrests in the 1996 shooting of an alleged drug-dealing rival in Compton.

Last month, Antonio Salgado and Antonio Garcia were sentenced to state prison after being found guilty by a Compton jury of attempted murder and conspiracy to commit murder.

The office began looking into Contreras’ claim of actual innocence based on eyewitness misidentification in 2014 at the request of the Loyola Law School Project for the Innocent.

To read more about the case, click here .
Did You Know...?
More than 19,000 people have participated in Drug Courts in Los Angeles County since the first one opened in 1994. The District Attorney’s Office has collaborated with other justice system agencies to open six additional alternative sentencing courts since 2009 to serve veterans, women and people living with a mental illness.
Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office | (213) 974-3512 | info@da.lacounty.gov

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