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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of North Dakota

Monday, July 7, 2014

Violent Crime and Human Trafficking Conference

FARGO - United States Attorney Timothy Q. Purdon has announced that the Violent Crime and Human Trafficking Conference will be held August 12, 13, and 14 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. All sessions will be held at the Washington Pavilion.

The conference is co-sponsored by U.S. Attorney Brendan V Johnson, District of South Dakota, the Department of Justice Office for Victims of Crime, and Avera Health.

The first day, August 12, will focus on training for medical professionals, advocates, social workers, counselors, and others in the health care field. Additional training on the first day will include the perspective from providers, the patient’s needs, and the public’s responsibility.

The remaining day and a half of the conference, August 13 and 14, is open to the public and will cover key topics such as; increases in human trafficking and other violence against women taking place in the North Dakota oil fields, internet predators in the Dakotas, sexual assault in Indian country, family violence, and working with child victims of physical and sexual assault.

The conference will feature speakers and sessions that have been specifically designed to highlight standards of compassionate care for victims of crime, and encourage coordination of that care among healthcare providers, advocates, policy makers, and law enforcement.

Among the featured speakers on August 13 will be Elizabeth Smart-Gilmour, a sexual abuse survivor, who was abducted from her bedroom in the family’s Salt Lake City home in 2002. The keynote speaker on August 14 will be a victim from the Penn State University sex scandal that involved Jerry Sandusky, an assistant football coach under Joe Paterno.

U.S. Attorney Purdon and U.S Attorney Johnson have made the prosecution of violent crimes and human trafficking top priorities in their districts. In North Dakota, the recent Operation Vigilant Guardian sting has led to sex trafficking charges against 14 defendants in western North Dakota. In South Dakota, since 2009, there have been 23 cases of sex trafficking prosecuted.

The conference is free and open to the public. There is a $10 lunch fee for the August 12, Avera Health sessions.



Updated August 15, 2016