Looking Ahead: The National Sexual Assault Policy Symposium

The National Institute of Justice, through the Forensic Technology Center of Excellence, hosted Looking Ahead: The National Sexual Assault Policy Symposium on September 8-9, 2016, in Washington, DC.

The symposium focused on how the nation is moving forward and finding solutions to the complex issues that arise in sexual assault cases and in testing sexual assault evidence. This unprecedented event, which featured an array of stakeholders including medical staff, law enforcement, crime laboratories, victims’ advocates, and prosecution, highlighted current accomplishments and shared valuable experiences from jurisdictions throughout the country. The goal of the event was to support our nation’s policymakers and practitioners as they drive future efforts to solve sexual assault cases, provide justice to victims, and ultimately improve public health and public safety.

Key topics discussed include:

  • Immediate Aftermath of Sexual Assault- Understanding and Responding to Trauma
  • Victim-Centered Approaches to Sexual Assault First Response
  • Progress on Testing Sexual Assault Kits- An Update from the Nevada Sexual Assault Kit Backlog Working Group
  • Investigating Sexual Assault- Lessons Learned and Promised Practices
  • Legislative Reform- Addressing Sexual Assault across the Nation
  • What is Probative- The Role of Evidence in Sexual Assault Cases
  • Behind the Pulitzer Prize Winning Story "An Unbelievable Story of Rape"- How Inter-Agency Cooperation Led to the Apprehension of a Serial Rapist
  • In the Lab- Testing Sexual Assault Evidence
  • Building an Efficient Laboratory Using Technology and Innovative Processes
  • Funding and Resources to Solve Sexual Assault Cases
  • Using Multidisciplinary Collaboration to Improve Sexual Assault Response and Create Positive Change 

Watch the Symposium

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The entire event was recorded. Follow the links in the agenda below to listen to the recorded sessions.

Day 1 Opening Remarks:

  • Howard Spivak, MD
    Deputy Director and Chief of Staff
    National Institute of Justice,
    US Department of Justice 
  • Anna Martinez
    Senior Policy Advisor to Assistant Attorney General Karol Mason
    Office of Justice Programs,
    US Department of Justice
  • Bill Baer
    Principal Deputy Associate Attorney General
    US Department of Justice

Panel 1 Archive: Immediate Aftermath of Sexual Assault

  • Kellie Greene,  Founder, Speaking Out About Rape, Inc. and sexual assault survivor
  • Natasha S. Alexenko, Survivor and Founder of Natasha's Project
    Watch an additional conversation with Natasha.
  • Jenifer Markowitz, Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner and Forensic Nursing Consultant
  • Rebecca Campbell, PhD, Professor of Psychology, Michigan State University

Panel 2 Archive: Victim-Centered Approaches to Sexual Assault First Response

  • Jim Markey, Detective Sergeant, Phoenix Police Department (Ret.), Sex Crimes Unit/Investigative Lead
  • Elynne Greene, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, Manager, Victim Services & Human Trafficking
  • Noel Busch-Armendariz, Associate Vice President for Research and professor at the University of Texas, Austin
  • Susan Chasson, SANE Coordinator, Utah Coalition Against Sexual Assault
  • Jordan Satinsky, Detective Sergeant, Montgomery County, MD, Police Department, Domestic Violence Section

Video Screening and Discussion: Progress on Testing Sexual Assault Kits- An update from the Nevada Sexual Assault Kit Backlog Working Group

  • Kristina Rose, Senior Policy Advisor, Office of the Vice President
  • Kim Murga, Director of Laboratory Services, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department
  • James Sweetin, Prosecutor, Chief of the Special Victims Unit, Office of Victim Advocacy, Clark County District Attorney's Office in Las Vegas, NC
  • Lora Cody, Detective, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department
  • Elynne Greene, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, Manager, Victim Services & Human Trafficking

Panel 3 Archive: Investigating Sexual Assault- Lessons Learned and Promising Practices

  • Julie A. Lecea, Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI) Liaison to Criminal Investigation Command (CID)
  • Eleanor A. Odom, Special Victim Prosecutor Expert, US Army
  • Travis Burrows, Supervisory Senior Resident Agent, Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI)
  • Richard Bell, Special Investigations Division Chief, Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office

Panel 4 Archive: Legislative Reform- Addressing Sexual Assault across the Nation

  • Rebecca O'Connor, Rape Abuse Incest National Network (RAINN), Vice President for Public Policy
  • Nancy Hoffman, State Coordinator, West Virginia Foundation for Rape Information Services
  • Tina L. Orwall, State Representative in the Washington State House of Representatives
  • Lisa Madigan, Attorney General, State of Illinois
  • Doug McGowen, Chief Operating Officer for the City of Memphis

Panel 5 Archive: What is Probative- The Role of Evidence in Sexual Assault Cases

  • Julie A. Lecea, Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI) Liaison to Criminal Investigation Command (CID)
  • Jay W. Henry, Laboratory Director, Utah Department of Public Safety- Crime Laboratory
  • Mitchell Morrissey, District Attorney, Denver, CO
  • Lora Cody, Detective, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department

Closing Remarks

Brian J. Moran
Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security
The Commonwealth of Virginia

Day 2 Opening Remarks

Panel 6 Archive: Behind the Pulitzer Prize Winning Story "An Unbelievable Story of Rape"- How Inter-Agency Cooperation Led to the Apprehension of a Serial Rapist

  • Rachel Dissell, Reporter, The Plain Dealer, Cleveland, OH
  • Ken Armstrong, Senior Reporter, The Marshall Project, and Co-author of "An Unbelievable Story of Rape"
  • T. Christian Miller, Senior Reporter, ProPublica, and Co-author of "An Unbelievable Story of Rape"
  • Stacy Galbraith, Detective, Golden Police Department, Golden, CO
  • Edna Hendershot, Investigations Sergeant, Westminster Police Department, Westminster, CO

Panel 7 Archive: In the Lab- Testing Sexual Assault Evidence

  • Amber Carr, Reporter, The Plain Dealer, Cleveland, OH
  • Brady Mills, Deputy Assistant Director, Texas Department of Public Safety
  • Anthony J. Onorato, Chief, FBI Nuclear DNA Unit, FBI Laboratory, Quantica, VA
  • Robert W. Taylor, Assistant Director Crime Laboratory, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department

Panel 8 Archive: Building an Efficient Laboratory Using Technology and Innovative Processes

  • Matthew Gamette, Idaho Director of Forensic Services  
  • Timothy D. Kupferschmid, Chief of Laboratories, New York City Office of the Chief Medical Examiner  
  • John A. Byrd, Director, North Carolina State Crime Lab  
  • Paul J. Speaker, Associate Professor of Finance, West Virginia University 

Afternoon Guest Speaker

  • Alicia O'Neill
    TNT's Cold Justice: Sex Crimes 
    Attorney at Chip Lewis Law and Former Public Defender
  • Introduced by Camilla Green
    Sorenson Forensics

Panel 9 Archive: Funding and Resources to Solve Sexual Assault Cases 

  • Kristina Rose, Senior Policy Advisor, Office of the Vice President
  • Martha Bashford, Chief, Sex Crimes Unit, New York County District Attorney
  • Denise E. O'Donnell, Director, Bureau of Justice Assistance, US Department of Justice
  • Bea Hanson, Principal Deputy Director, Office on Violence Against Women, US Department of Justice
  • Nancy Rodriguez, Director, National Institute of Justice, US Department of Justice
  • Joye Frost, Director, Office for Victims of Crime, US Department of Justice

Panel 10 Archive: Using Multidisciplinary Collaboration to Improve Sexual Assault Response and Create Positive Change

  • Doug McGowen, Chief Operating Officer for the City of Memphis
  • Noel Busch-Armendariz, Associate Vice President for Research and Professor at the University of Texas, Austin
  • Emily Burton-Blank, Advocate, Center for Victims, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Mary Lentschke, Assistant Chief, Houston Police Department
  • William Wells, Professor, Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology, Sam Houston State University
  • Sonia Corrales, Chief Program Officer, Houston Area Women's Center (HAWC) 
  • Gerald M. LaPorte, Director, Office of Investigative and Forensic Sciences, National Institute of Justice, US Department of Justice

Closing Remarks

  • Kym L. Worthy
    Wayne County Prosecutor
    Wayne County, Michigan
  • Tina Tchen
    Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff to the First Lady
    The White House 
Date Modified: February 23, 2017