DA’s new special victims unit aims to protect the most vulnerable

Published: Oct. 4, 2022 at 7:20 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - District Attorney Jared Williams held a news conference Tuesday discussing how his office recently convicted a man Williams describes as a serial rapist.

During the news conference, Williams said the new special victims unit played a major role in getting the victim and her family the justice they deserve.

The goal of the unit is to work primarily with sexual assault victims and children.

We talked to the executive director from Child Enrichment Services to learn more about their role in the unit.

“Richmond County is the number one county in the state of Georgia for the number of child trafficking cases,” said Kari Viola-Brooke.

She says there’s no reason Augusta should have higher numbers than Atlanta, but she sees it every day.

She adds that 1 in 10 kids will be sexually abused by 18, which is why the DA’s office so desperately needs the unit.

AUGUSTA VIOLENT CRIME:

“We know that talking with children is difficult. We know suggestibility is a real thing,” she said.

Child enrichment plays a vital role in child abuse cases by providing forensic interviews for victims.

“We really rely on our prosecutors to have the knowledge to educate the juries and ask the appropriate questions so we can provide that knowledge to the jury,” said Viola-Brooke.

Williams said, “To the child molesters and sexual predators, we’re watching, and we’re ready.”

The DA’s office says they have been able to try 24 serious violent felony cases this year, including helping to convict a serial rapist who attacked a woman with her kids nearby.

“I think it’s just a perfect example of how when you specialize and you take a big city approach to big city crime, you get big city results,” said Williams.