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Investigating and Prosecuting "Converted" Cases Webinar
Thursday, August 22nd, 2013
12:00 AM PT/1:00 AM MT/2:00 AM CT/3:00 AM ET
All U.S. states, territories, and tribal governments must certify that they are in compliance with VAWA requirements for medical forensic examinations - in order to remain eligible for STOP grant funding. Specifically, exams must be available to sexual assault victims: (1) free of charge, and (2) regardless of their decision to participate in the criminal justice process.

This means that sexual assault victims can obtain a medical forensic exam without being faced with an immediate decision about participating in the law enforcement investigation and any criminal prosecution. The goal is to get victims the health care they need - as well as collecting and documenting evidence while it is available - without presenting victims with a decision about criminal participation that is framed as "all or nothing" and "now or never." If victims are allowed to get support and take the time they need, the hope is that they will ultimately "convert" and decide they are able to fully participate in the process.

But what happens next?


In many communities, guidance is needed to successfully investigate and prosecute such "converted" cases. Otherwise, this option could be a false promise for victims. The webinar will address issues such as the following:

What do we call these cases? If we call them "delayed" reports or "non-reports," what message does this send? What alternative wording can we use?How do we perceive them? All too often we have heard professionals say that these cases cannot be prosecuted, or they are simply too difficult to investigate. Yet the challenges are similar to other cases that are successfully investigated and prosecuted every day. How can we shift our attitude to see these cases as more similar than different from others?

How do we investigate converted cases? While converted cases do pose challenges for the investigation, they are not unique. Most reports of sexual assault are delayed. Law enforcement agencies regularly receive reports of sexual assaults that were committed months, years, or even decades ago (e.g., child sexual abuse).

How do we prosecute them? Again, the biggest challenge is shifting our perception to see these cases as more similar than different from other sexual assaults. The challenges of delayed reporting and third party disclosures are well known to prosecutors, who have developed effective strategies for overcoming any resulting bias.


This webinar is approximately 90 minutes long.



Kimberly A. Lonsway, Ph.D.Kimberly A. Lonsway, Ph.D.

Director of Research, End Violence Against Women International

Kim Lonsway earned her Ph.D. in the Department of Psychology at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She then served for two years as a post-doctoral research fellow at the interdisciplinary American Bar Foundation in Chicago, Illinois. She has volunteered for over fifteen years as a victim advocate, and was awarded the first-ever Volunteer of the Decade Award in 2012 from the Sexual Assault Recovery and Prevention (SARP) Center in San Luis Obispo, CA.

Kim previously served as the Director of Research for the National Center for Women & Policing, taught as an adjunct professor in the Department of Psychology at California Polytechnic State University, and assisted Penny Harrington & Associates as the Director of Research and Training. In 2003, she joined EVAWI, where she develops grant proposals, creates training content and resource materials, and provides training and technical assistance for multidisciplinary audiences of practitioners in the fields of law enforcement, victim advocacy, health care, prosecution, and related disciplines. Kim is the co-author of a book with Penny Harrington entitled: "Investigating Sexual Harassment in Law Enforcement and Nontraditional Fields for Women" (Prentice Hall). She has also written over 60 published articles, book chapters, training modules, technical reports, government reports, commissioned documents. Along with Joanne Archambault, she served for five years as Co-Editor of the bimonthly Sexual Assault Report, published by the Civic Research Institute.

Christopher Mallios Christopher Mallios

Attorney Advisor, AEquitas: The Prosecutors' Resource on Violence Against Women

Christopher Mallios (JD) is an Attorney Advisor for AEquitas: The Prosecutors' Resource on Violence Against Women. Chris has presented extensively on the investigation and prosecution of sexual violence, domestic violence, elder abuse and stalking both in the United States and abroad. His international work includes developing and implementing trainings for police, prosecutors, judges and allied professionals in national and international conferences in Liberia and Nepal.

Chris was a prosecutor in the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office for nearly 16 years, and for more than 10 of those years, Chris worked as a trial attorney and supervisor specializing primarily in the prosecution of crimes involving violence against women. Chris has testified in many legislative hearings and has presented numerous training programs at Philadelphia's Police Academy and Detective Training Program. He also trained many classes of volunteers at Women Organized Against Rape in Philadelphia. He has been a frequent presenter for the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Institute and he has taught trial advocacy as an adjunct professor at the Beasley School of Law at Temple University and is currently an Adjunct Professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy and Practice and an affiliate of the Ortner Center on Family Violence.

Joanne Archambault Joanne Archambault

Executive Director, End Violence Against Women International
Retired Sergeant, San Diego Police Department

Joanne Archambault is the Founder and Executive Director of EVAWI, as well as the President and Training Director of Sexual Assault Training & Investigations (SATI), Inc. She serves as co-editor of the Sexual Assault Report and a member of CounterQuo, a national initiative that seeks to challenge and change media and legal responses to sexual violence. In April 2010, Joanne was honored by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder for her decades of tireless work on behalf of sexual assault victims, a prestigious National Crime Victims' Service Award for Allied Professionals. On October 27, 2010, Joanne was invited to meet with President Obama and Vice President Biden for the first assembly on violence against women to ever be held at the White House.

Joanne began her career working for the San Diego Police Department for almost 23 years, in a wide range of assignments. She first worked as an officer in Patrol and then as a detective in Gangs, Child Abuse, and Crimes Against Persons. As a sergeant, she had assignments in the Office of Equal Employment Opportunity and Sex Crimes. During the last ten years of her service, Joanne supervised the Sex Crimes Unit, which had 13 detectives and was responsible for investigating approximately 1,000 felony sexual assaults within the City of San Diego each year. Over the course of her career, she has written numerous articles and developed a wide range of training and policy materials, as well as serving on national advisory boards.

This project is supported by Grant No. 2009-TA-AX-K003 awarded by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women. The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women.

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