September 2019
Volume 4, Issue 9
Dear Friends:
I recently was asked about my position on bail reform and want to reiterate my commitment to reforming the existing monetary bail system.

I envision a pretrial release procedure that maintains public safety, ensures court appearances and protects victims’ rights without disproportionately affecting low-income arrestees.
Spotlight:
Records Management Section
In row upon row and box upon dusty box, stretching up 15 feet high in a warehouse southeast of downtown Los Angeles, are the documents that tell the stories of past criminal prosecutions.

The files of roughly 1 million cases are housed in the office's Records Management Section, also known as Archives.

Some of the files in the cavernous 51,300-square-foot space are more than 60 years old. In a locked cage are files from some of the office’s most notorious prosecutions, including O.J. Simpson, Lyle and Erik Menendez and the “Night Stalker” Richard Ramirez.

It is the responsibility of Gina Reeves-Torrence, manager of the section, and her team to make sure these documents are secure, easy to locate, converted to digital records and, when the time is appropriate, destroyed.

She is part security guard, part librarian, part clerk and part destruction specialist.

“We have to make sure we are keeping track of all incoming cases accurately and appropriately and that everything is documented,” Reeves-Torrence said. “It is imperative that we do everything right.”

The staff at the Records Management Section takes dozens – sometimes hundreds – of requests a month from deputy district attorneys and investigators and prepares 300 cases a week before they are shipped to a vendor where they will be scanned into digital files.

When it is time to purge cases (cases from 1994 and earlier are being reviewed currently), deputy district attorneys come to Archives to review boxes and boxes of cases to determine if they should be shredded or maintained. For death penalty cases, life in prison sentences and a few other cases, the files must be maintained indefinitely.
Fraud Alert
  Significant Cases
People in the market for used vehicles should make sure they get what they pay for.

Click  here  to read the Fraud Alert and view the video.

You also may read  about a case involving this scam and how it could land a Studio City man in county jail.
  • A Lancaster day care owner was sentenced to four years in state prison for public assistance fraud. Find out why she and her daughters must pay more than $1 million in restitution. 

  • A driver who caused a deadly rollover crash in Beverly Hills pleaded no contest to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated. Learn how much time she could spend behind bars.

  • A man who rammed his Prius into police vehicles during a pursuit on Hollywood Boulevard entered a plea for assaulting a police officer. Read about his crime spree and the lives he endangered before he was stopped.
Ask a Complex Child Abuse Prosecutor
Deputy-in-Charge Pak Kouch, pictured left, is one of three deputy district attorneys assigned to the Complex Child Abuse Section.

What kinds of cases do you prosecute?
Since 2016, the unit has prosecuted more than 40 child murder and physical abuse cases. In these cases, the cause of death or injury stemmed from abusive head trauma or other internal injuries which were not immediately apparent.

What makes these types of cases challenging?
In most cases, there are no eyewitnesses. It comes down to the opinions of experts to determine how the child’s injuries occurred. Those opinions often conflict, with medical examiners and child abuse pediatricians saying it was abuse and defense experts saying it was an accident.

Why is a special section needed?
District Attorney Jackie Lacey created the Complex Child Abuse Section in 2016 to prosecute the most difficult child abuse cases. The deputy district attorneys assigned to the section must respond to a growing number of legal challenges to the medical and scientific evidence presented in child abuse prosecutions. We must understand the medical evidence and dig into medical and scientific research so we can effectively cross-examine defense experts.

What keeps you focused and driven when you prosecute these cases?
The victims. These defenseless children are often victimized by the people who were supposed to care for them. It is our job to give these most vulnerable victims a voice and hold accountable the people who take their young lives.

What should people do if they suspect a child is being abused?
If it’s an emergency, call 911. Otherwise, contact your local law enforcement agency or call the county’s Child Protection Hotline at (800) 540-4000.
Did You Know...?
District Attorney Jackie Lacey was instrumental in making sure that local voices are heard before a sexually violent predator, like Christopher Hubbart, pictured left, is released into a community. She proposed changing state law to give local leaders the opportunity to oppose the release of a sexually violent predator into their county. Previously, only prosecutors in the county where the crime occurred could object.

To learn more about sexually violent predators, click here.
Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office | (213) 974-3512 | info@da.lacounty.gov

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