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Press Release

National Crime Victims' Rights Week “Engaging Communities. Empowering Victims”

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of New York

CONTACT: Barbara Burns
PHONE:  (716) 843-5817
FAX #:    (716) 551-3051
BUFFALO--U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. commemorated National Crime Victims' Rights Week by hosting a Victims' Rights awards ceremony today. National Crime Victims' Week is held each year to celebrate landmark federal legislation that was enacted 27 years ago on behalf of victims of crime.

In 2004, Congress passed the Crime Victims’ Rights Act (CVRA). The CVRA grants victims in federal criminal proceedings certain enforceable rights, including the right to be reasonably heard at public court proceedings and to receive full and timely restitution as provided by law.

 During the ceremony, U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. presented awards in recognition of National Crime Victims' Week. This year's award recipients are:

Assistant United States Attorney  -  Mary C. Baumgarten was honored for her exceptional work in obtaining restitution on behalf of victims.

Federal Law Enforcement Agent  -  United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement Special Agents Patricia Calleri and Peter Uzarowski were honored for their tireless efforts on behalf of victims of human trafficking.

Local Law Enforcement  -  Buffalo Police Detectives Brian Ross and Mary Evans were honored for their efforts on behalf of victims on gang violence.

Victim Advocate  -  David Kagle, Esq., Legal Assistance of WNY, was honored for his efforts to promote the positive possibilities of “whistleblower” actions. 

United States Attorney’s Office Support Staff  -  Ann Morrow was honored for her aggressive efforts to obtain restitution on behalf of victims.

The ceremony, which was organized by Victim Witness Coordinator Sharon Knope, was attended by numerous friends, colleagues, and family members of the award recipients. A special award was presented to a victim of crime for her courage and dedication to the criminal justice system.

"This Office is please to celebrate the tremendous dedication of those who work incredibly hard on behalf of victims of crime,” said U.S. Attorney Hochul. “An event such as this provides the opportunity to reflect that without the efforts of law enforcement, violent predators would pursue the most vulnerable without fear of consequence.  At the same time, we recognize the great strength and courage of victims willing to assist law enforcement and see that justice is done.”

Updated April 24, 2015