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Victim Witness Assistance

The Victim Witness Program provides statutory services to victims and witnesses identified in cases prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of California. Headed by a Program Manager in the Sacramento office and an assistant in the Fresno branch office, Victim Witness staff provide information on criminal cases as the case proceeds through the court system. Staff also explain if a victim has a particular right during any stage of the legal proceeding.

Cases that are prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney are referred to the office by investigative agencies. Agencies also may have statutory responsibilities to victims and witnesses involved in a particular case. While the investigative agent has a continuing role throughout the case, the U.S. Attorney’s office usually begins its responsibilities to victims and witnesses once federal charges are filed, and the charges are made public.

If you would like more information about your rights as a victim or witness or how the federal court system works, read Victim Rights CLICK HERE.

To contact the Victim Witness Program staff, please call:

  • Sacramento: Helene Tenette, Victim Witness Program Manager at 916-554-2776; Senta Parker, Victim Witness Contractor at 916-554-2783.
  • Fresno: cases, Nancy Leendertsen, Victim Witness Specialist at 559-497-4055.

For more information about the Department of Justice Victim Notification System, click here.

Victims' Rights Act

Crime Victims’ Rights Act of 2004, 18 U.S.C. § 3771:

  • The right to be reasonably protected from the accused.

  • The right to reasonable, accurate, and timely notice of any public court proceeding, or any parole proceeding, involving the crime or of any release or escape of the accused.
  • The right not to be excluded from any such public court proceeding, unless the court, afer receiving clear and convincing evidence, determines that testimony by the victim would be materially altered if the victim heard other testimony at that proceeding.
  • The right to be reasonably heard at any public proceeding in the district court involving release, plea, sentencing, or any parole proceeding.
  • The reasonable right to confer with the attorney for the Government in the case.
  • The right to full and timely restitution as provided by law.
  • The right to proceedings free from unreasonable delay.
  • The right to be treated with fairness and with respect for the victim’s dignity and privacy.

The provision of services to crime victims involved in criminal cases prosecuted by the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of California is very important to us.

If you have any questions about your rights as a crime victim, please contact:

  • Sacramento: Helene Tenette, Victim Witness Program Manager at 916-554-2776.
  • Fresno: Nancy Leendertsen, Victim Witness Specialist at 559-497-4055.

If you are a victim and believe you have not been accorded your rights under the Justice for All Act by this office, you may file an administrative complaint, as provided under 28 CFR 45.10. You may request that an administrative complaint form be mailed or faxed to you or you may download the document from this web page below.

Victims and Witnesses: Understanding Your Rights and the Federal Court System Pamphlet


The administrative complaint must be mailed (may not be transmitted electronically) and should be addressed to:

  • Sacramento: John K. Vincent, Chief, Criminal Division, United States Attorney, 501 I St., Room 10-100, Sacramento, CA 95814.
  • Fresno: Mark E. Cullers, Chief, Fresno Field Office, United States Attorney Office, 2500 Tulare St., Room 4401, Fresno, CA 93721.

Sacramento - Complaint Form (.pdf)
Fresno - Complaint Form (.pdf)

Related Links

Office for Victims of Crime
U.S. Department of Justice
Federal Bureau of Investigation
US. Postal Inspection Service
Federal Bureau of Prisons
Criminal Division

Updated June 10, 2015