The Victim Witness Assistance Unit provides assistance to victims and witnesses of federal crimes while they are involved with the criminal justice system. Services include:
- Information on court proceedings and case status
- Referrals to counseling, medical and other social services
- Court accompaniment
- Special services for child victims, the elderly, and handicapped victims
- Crime victims compensation claims assistance
- Assistance with completing victim impact statements
- Assistance with travel and lodging for out of town witnesses
- Support witnesses throughout court proceedings
- Assistance with restitution issues
Cases that are prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney are referred to our office by investigative agencies. The U.S. Attorney’s office begins its responsibilities to victims and witnesses once federal charges are filed, and the charges are made public. Victims may call 855-450-7511 with any questions.
JAMES NATHANIEL WATTS CASE
Important information regarding the James Nathaniel Watts case:
A federal indictment was returned charging James Nathaniel Watts with two counts. Count 1 charges Watts with Attempted Armed Bank Robbery Resulting in Death. Count 2 charges Watts with being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm.
Status Conference set for April 23, 2015, at 10:00 a.m.
Final Pretrial Conference reset for August 5, 2015, at 9:30 a.m.
Jury Trial reset for August 17, 2015, at 9 a.m.
For further information, please contact the Benton branch of the U.S. Attorney's Office at telephone number 618-439-3808.
Large Victim Cases
For information regarding one of the large victim cases named below, click on the name of the case.
AFD Medical Advisors
American Marketing Group
Creative Vacation Solutions and Universal Marketing Solutions
Madison County Tax Liens
Prime One Financial
Premier Timeshare Solutions
Real Timeshare Marketing
Timeshare Recovery Scheme
Victims of financial fraud should read The Reality of Restitution.
If you have been subpoenaed by the U.S Attorney's Office to testify in Federal Court or Grand Jury, please contact the following individual.
- Southern District of Illinois: Julie Swanston, Victim Witness Coordinator, at (618)628-3700 or Toll Free at 1-855-450-7511.
Federal Crime Victims’ have rights as set forth in the Justice for All Act of 2004:
RIGHTS OF CRIME VICTIMS
18 U.S.C. 3771 (a)
A victim of a crime has the following rights:
1. The right to be reasonably protected from the accused.
2. 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.
3. The right not to be excluded from any such public court proceeding, unless the court, after receiving clear and convincing evidence, determines that testimony by the victim would be materially altered if the victim heard other testimony at that proceeding.
4. The right to be reasonably heard at any public proceeding in the district court involving release, plea, sentencing, or any parole proceeding.
5. The reasonable right to confer with the attorney for the Government in the case.
6. The right to full and timely restitution as provided in law.
7. The right to proceedings free from unreasonable delay.
8. The right to be treated with fairness and with respect for the victim's dignity and privacy.
As a crime victim, you can seek the advice of an attorney with respect to these rights.
This law is effective October 30, 2004. If you have any questions regarding your rights as a crime victim, please call the Victim Witness Coordinator at the United States Attorney's Office at (618) 628-3700.
- When Bank Employees Become Victims of a Robbery
A brochure including information, referral, and support for victims, their family, and witness of crime.
- Victim & Witness Handbook
Guide to provide services while one is involved in the criminal justice system.
USDOJ: Office of the Victims' Rights Ombudsman
Victim Witness Complaint Form
National Organization of Victim Assistance
National Center for Victims of Crime
Office for Victims of Crime
Domestic Violence Victims
National Organization of Parents of Murdered Children, Inc.
National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
Federal Trade Commission
National Foundation for Credit Counseling
National Fraud Information Center
National Sexual Assault Hotline