2010 Awards Banquet Award Recipients

Thanks for Going Above and Beyond to Empower Victims of Crime.

Assael Nakao

In 2006, Assael began assisting with victims of a 2004 sexual assault case.  It was a DNA cold hit and the suspect was unknown to the victims.  One assault occurred in Anaheim and the other two in Fullerton.  The Anaheim victim was a 17 year old female who was walking home late at night when she was ordered into the suspect’s vehicle at gunpoint.  She was then driven to an Anaheim park where the suspect raped, sodomized and forced her to orally copulate him. One of the Fullerton victims, who was in her early 40’s, was sitting on a bus bench, waiting for a bus, when she was approached by the suspect who offered her a ride.  She accepted the ride and was ultimately raped and sodomized by the suspect.

Assael has remained in constant contact with both of these victims since 2006.  She prepared them for trial, sat through the trial, as well as updated the victims and prepared them for sentencing dates after conviction.  She referred them to counseling and assisted one victim in relocating.

Unfortunately, the suspect recently won a new trial motion on appeal and is now pro per. One of the victims has stated she will not continue with court proceedings without Assael’s involvement.

Assael’s influence also reaches out to family members of sexual assault survivors.  She met the father of a rape survivor and conversed with him about the sexual assault and his daughter’s journey through healing.    While talking with him, she recalled the victim explaining how emotionally unavailable her father was to her and how she would have liked it if he just held her and told her he loved her. The father stated his education of sexual assault began as soon as he walked through the door.  He said he just wanted his daughter back and Assael responded, “You do have your daughter back, she’s just different, new and improved.”  This phrase finally made sense to him and he will hopefully be able to appreciate the strength it took for his daughter to become a survivor.

In regard to young children, Assael was able to provide court support for a seven year old victim who, at 4, was abused by her step grandfather.  The victim and her mother were nervous about assisting in the criminal justice process and possibly testifying. Assael, along with the District Attorney and her investigator, were able to familiarize them with a court room and its procedures. Assael sat in the witness box with the victim while she answered the questions from both the District Attorney and the Public Defender.   The young victim felt more comfortable knowing there was someone up there with her since her mother had to stay outside of the court room during her testimony.

No victim is turned away.  Assael assists victims whose crime occurred in other jurisdictions.  For instance, three sexual assault victims, all relatives, contacted her.  The assaults occurred in LA County but they lived in the area and were seeking crisis counseling.  Assael assisted them in filing with Victims of Crime and have continued seeing them for crisis counseling.  She is currently looking for a low-cost therapist to refer them to because the crisis counseling CSP offers is short term and their needs are for a long term basis. 

These are only a few accounts of how Assael has been instrumental in assisting victims while working for CSP at the Anaheim Family Justice Center.


Sheila Cannan 

During the past year, Sheila was the lead investigator in a far reaching case involving loan modification and bill consolidation fraud.  The suspect in this case was holding herself out to be an attorney and asking for up front fee payments, in violation of numerous criminal and civil laws.  This suspect primarily targeted victims in the Orange County Vietnamese community, exploiting her familiarity with the language and culture to gain acceptance and trust.  In most cases, little or nothing was done to modify the victim’s mortgages.  Several victims lost their homes through foreclosure or suffered other significant financial loss as a result of this fraud. 

Sheila worked closely with the Vietnamese Community, and the Real Estate Fraud Unit of the Orange County District Attorney’s Office, to bring this case to a successful conclusion, and the suspect to prosecution.  Sheila additionally organized a community meeting with the victims, translators and representatives from the Department of Housing and Urban Development to assist the victims.  In the majority of the individual victim’s cases, Sheila was able to provide resource assistance in mitigating some of the financial burdens, allow them to stay in their homes and provide hope from hopelessness.


Tom Bruce

In March of 2003, the Cypress Police Department was notified by Orange County Social Services about a potential scam against an elderly victim residing in Cypress. On October 6, 2008, a 79 year-old man walking his dog in his neighborhood was contacted by a male suspect who befriended him. The suspect carried on with small –talk for several minutes learning where the victim lived. The suspect returned the following day and was able to convince the victim to go with him to a “birthday party”. The victim, who suffered from dementia, got into the suspect’s vehicle and was driven to a Bank of America in the City of Los Angeles. The suspect convinced the victim to withdraw $5,000 from his savings account and give the suspect the money. The suspect also drove the victim to a Bank of America in Corona where another $14,000 was withdrawn and handed over to the suspect. The suspect then placed the victim into a cab in Corona and provided the cab driver with the victim’s address, stating family would pay the bill once he arrived home. Due to the victim’s medical condition, he would not remember why he gave the suspect the money. The victim never met the suspect and had not seen him in his neighborhood prior to the crime.

The victim, a U.S. Army veteran of the Korean War era, had moved to California from the mid-west to take care of his aging parents. He remained in California living on his modest retirement savings, which had now been depleted by this suspect.

When Sergeant Tom Bruce learned about this incident in his role as the Press Information Officer, he not only prepared the press release, but also reached out to local live media to conduct an on-camera interview in the hopes of using the bank surveillance video to identify the suspect. As a result of the extensive news coverage the Sergeant Bruce coordinated, numerous tips were received which ultimately resulted in identifying the suspect.  The suspect was located in La Vegas, Nevada, and arrested and convicted for similar charges in that jurisdiction. The Orange County District Attorney’s Office is working on filing charges for the Cypress case.

Due to the victim’s medical condition, Sergeant Bruce spent additional time with family members to inquire about any other assistance the victim would require. He went above-and-beyond to ensure the victim was helped and also coordinated a visit by a local Council Member who is also a military veteran to spend time with the victim. 


Kay Kearney

Kay serves as Sr. Vice President of Business Development where she establishes and maintains relationships with perspective and current clients. Her responsibilities include maintaining the company’s private and municipal contracts, CQI program, Compliance Program, Marketing, Public Relations, Government Relations, and Accounts Receivables.

Kay is a recent graduate from the University of Phoenix receiving her Bachelor’s degree in Business Management and is in the final stages of achieving her Masters Degree in Health Care Administration. With an extensive background in Medical Billing and Government Health Care-Finance Administration (HCFA) Guidelines, Kay has achieved many commendations and certifications in her career, which has taken her to both the East and West Coasts. She has over 24 years experience in healthcare and her background has been instrumental in guiding Doctor’s Ambulance through the Commission on Accreditation of Ambulance Services (CAAS) process three times. 

Kay has been with Doctor’s Ambulance since 1998 where she began her career in their Business Office. Displaying leadership skills and a keen sense of business she has earned her advancement in the company. She has been a key figure in lobbying for city EOA contracts, negotiating hospital and facility service agreements, and establishing successful community outreach programs.

Her current duties also include managing the daily operations of the Accounts Receivable Department. Kay also oversees the Marketing and Public Relations departments which involve coordinating community educational programs such as CPR, 1st Aid, Blood Pressure Screenings, sponsorship in local non-profit organizations, and Stand-By Events. 

As part of her role Kay represents the company on many board and non-profit organizations. She

currently is serving the terms of President-Elect of the CA-Haw-Nev District Exchange Club, Chairman of the The Raise Foundation, Advisory Board Member Trauma Intervention Program (TIP), committee member for the OCFA Best and Bravest Awards, Co-Chair Irvine Police Association Awards Banquet, Co-Chair Regional Cities Ball for the South Orange County Chambers of Commerce, as well as participating as an active member with many other non-profit organizations in Orange County. Kay is a certified American Heart Association BLS instructor Trainer, certified FEMA Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) trainer who provides training and courses throughout the community.


John Condon

In 2007, the City of Irvine experienced a series of family violence related homicides.  These tragic crimes prompted Sergeant John Condon to examine the topic of family violence from a new perspective.  Sergeant Condon proposed the formation of an intra-agency collaboration, consisting of various victim-centered organizations in the region, to combat family violence, with a focus aimed at prevention.

In August 2008, the Irvine Police Department, acting on recommendations and a program model created by Sergeant Condon, formed the Family Violence Prevention Program. The program, now in its third year, aims to implement sustainable and proactive strategies to reduce the occurrence of family violence while increasing the rate of victim reporting, primarily through education and outreach.  The Focus Group includes members from the Irvine Police Department, Irvine’s department of Community Services, program advocates from Human Options Women’s Shelter, victim advocates from Community Service Programs, Inc., and others.

Under the leadership of Sergeant Condon, the Focus Group has had considerable success in aggressively investigating family violence related crimes, promoting victim rights, and linking victims with advocates, resources and other support services.  Most importantly, recent efforts have focused on strategies to prevent crimes of family violence.   The many projects and programs implemented under Sergeant Condon’s leadership include:  (1)  the production of a ten-minute domestic violence public service announcement which airs on Irvine’s local television channel, featuring many of Irvine’s community partners; (2) a ride-a-long program in which a CSP victim advocate is paired with an Irvine Police Sergeant to respond to calls of family violence in the field and provide on-scene crisis counseling and resource referral for victims; (3) a Healthy Families Town Hall Meeting that featured a panel of subject matter experts from various disciplines who discussed family violence, strategies to promote healthy relationships and resources available in the community, and (4) the procurement of a dedicated CSP victim advocate, assigned to the Irvine Police Department, funded by a federal grant.

Sergeant Condon is a fifteen year veteran of the Irvine Police Department.  His past assignments include DARE officer, and Crimes Against Persons detective.  He currently serves as a Detective Sergeant and the supervisor for the Crisis Negotiations Team.  He holds a B.S. in Human Services from California State University at Fullerton.  


Sharon Kerbow

Although customer service is a priority for all employees in Los Alamitos, no one takes it more seriously than Sergeant Sharon Kerbow.  Recently completing a rotation in the Detective Bureau, Sergeant Kerbow is back in patrol where she takes compassion to another level.  It isn’t just one case than earns her that reputation; it is a list too numerous to name.  Whether she is comforting a victim who suffered a violent crime, protecting a witness to a homicide, or investigating a case in which a charity was the victim of fraud, Sharon proudly wears her heart on her sleeve.

Although each case is different, Sgt. Kerbow has been known to act as an advocate for young crime victims and a friend to older victims.  From the onset, she makes each case personal, as if the victim were a family member or friend.  Her concern for them is genuine and she frequently extends herself beyond her workday by providing her personal cell phone number or reaching into her own pocket to feed a hungry stranger.  She’ll stop by to check on victims from previous crimes and ensure that they have the resources they need.  She establishes a rapport with troubled youth and, as a result, was called to Los Angeles in the middle of the night because a teen, contemplating suicide, would only speak to her. 

Using her wit and charisma, Sharon teaches women’s safety, teen/dating safety, Skills and Assets for Excellence (SAFE) program to fifth graders, and domestic violence prevention classes.  She is as passionate about helping people protect themselves as she is about offering reassurance if someone becomes a victim.  

As a mentor and instructor for new officers at the Golden West College Criminal Justice Training Center, Sharon teaches the interpersonal skills that have become the icon of her career. 

Only those who have suffered as a victim of a violent crime can truly appreciate the value of those words of encouragement and the merits of Sgt. Kerbow’s service to this community.  On a daily basis, Sgt. Sharon Kerbow epitomizes compassionate victim assistance in the law enforcement profession.


Alberto Herrera                                    Jacqueline Sotelo
Monique Jordan                                   Connie Arambula

Mr. Herrera assisted the family of a man who was shot at a party.  Mr. Herrera met with the victim’s sister who lived locally and explained the court process to her.  He also provided words of encouragement to her when she became emotionally distraught during the court proceedings.  The victim’s parents did not live locally, and Mr. Herrera kept them updated as the case proceeded.  Mr. Herrera insured that they knew when the trial would begin so that they could travel to attend the trial.  Mr. Herrera explained the court process to the victim’s mother and sat with her during the trial.  When she became too distraught to remain in the courtroom, he accompanied her out of the court.  She did not want to be present when the defendant testified, but did want to know what he said, so Mr. Herrera stayed in court during the defendant’s testimony and told the victim’s mother what he had said.  Mr. Herrera assisted the victim’s mom in filing a claim for mental health counseling and made counseling referrals when he noticed that the victim’s mom needed additional assistance.   He also reminded the victim’s family to submit any out of pocket expenses for restitution at the conclusion of the case.  The defendant was found guilty of second degree murder and Mr. Herrera provided comfort and encouragement to surviving family members.  Mr. Herrera assisted the family in filing out a form to be sent to prison so that the family could be kept informed if the defendant received a parole hearing date.

Ms. Jordan was involved in a murder case involving three victims.  She outreached to all three families although only one family requested assistance.  Ms. Jordan helped with the funeral/burial claim, explained the court process and also encouraged counseling for all family members.  Ms. Jordan spent hours with the victim’s father, answering questions regarding victim compensation and what would occur in court once the suspects were apprehended.  Once the defendants were arrested, Ms. Jordan was in touch with the family to give them information about the arraignment date and also to inquire about whether they would attend court.  Ms. Jordan kept them advised of all court dates and also gave them the name of the prosecutor in the case.  Ms. Jordan accompanied the victim’s mother to court and sat with her during court proceedings.  She noticed during one court proceeding that a family member or friend of one of the defendants appeared to be trying to intimidate the victim’s mother so Ms. Jordan told the bailiff and the bailiff removed that person from the court and made an announcement to everyone in the courtroom that intimidating, disruptive or threatening behavior would not be tolerated and that any person doing those things would be expelled from the courtroom.  Ms. Jordan continued to keep the victim’s mother advised of all court procedures and also ensured that the victim’s mother and younger surviving daughter were included in the annual District Attorney Holiday Giving Drive so that they received a gift bag.

Victim Advocates for Los Angeles County District Attorney Victim-Witness Assistance Program Special Emphasis Program provide enhanced victim services to gang-related homicide survivors.  They work closely with the District Attorney’s hardcore gang unit prosecutors and law enforcement, maintain a database of gang homicide cases and provide victim advocacy services to affected victims and survivors for as long as the case remains open, even if the case does not result in criminal prosecution.  They conduct training with law enforcement about victim-witness services.  They participate in community outreach and presentations to increase public awareness of victim services.  They also network with local gang intervention programs to keep children out of gangs and to prevent the violence from continuing.  Almost 50% of all homicides in Los Angeles County are gang related.  The surviving family members in these cases need special care because of the difficulties in prosecuting the cases, the fear involved with gang related crimes and the number of cases that remain unsolved.  In the last 6 months, the Special Emphasis Victim Advocates have assisted over 290 people.  The individuals who have benefited from these services are surviving parents, siblings, children and other family members of murder victims.   Advocates outreach immediately after a crime has occurred to make an initial assessment of the victim’s family’s needs and help with funeral/burial information, relocation, crime scene clean up referrals and crisis intervention.  The advocates assist in explaining the court process and accompanying surviving family members to court to insure that their rights to be present at all court appearances are protected.  Advocates also make mental health referrals for family members who need counseling.  The advocates also help with explaining and filling out applications for financial reimbursement for crime related losses through the Victims of Crime program.   Advocates also help family members prepare impact statements to be used at sentencing. The advocates also insure family member’s safety at court and take immediate action to notify law enforcement if anyone attempts to intimidate or harass victim families.  Without specially trained advocates to assist in these difficult gang homicides, these families would not receive the level of care that they deserve.


Grace Rai                          Steven Ipson
Hyatt Seligman           Albert H MacKenzie


John Lonergan  

As a Deputy District Attorney, John Lonergan has prosecuted 70 jury trials, to include 26 murder trials involving 34 different defendants, with 4 of those cases alleging a special circumstance.

A recent case illustrates Lonergan’s exceptional trial skills and his tireless advocacy on behalf of his victims and their families. On May 6, 2009, defendant Jesus Sedillo, represented by Henry Salcido and Anthony Fallangetti, was convicted of 2 separate murders in Wilmington and received consecutive LWOP sentences. Sedillo was charged with murdering Manuel Lopez on September 23, 2006. The only eyewitness who provided any information regarding this murder was a 17-year-old walking up the street about a block from the crime scene. This witness, who was reluctant to cooperate and had to be re-located, saw a vehicle pass by him and thought he recognized the passenger as being “Jesse” from high school. Approximately 10 seconds after the car passed and made a right hand turn onto another street, the witness heard several shots fired from the same area where the car was driving towards (and the same area where victim Lopez was shot and killed). A few months later, on October 31, 2006 (Holloween night), defendant Sedillo drove up alongside a car on PCH Ave in Wilmington that had 3 young occupants in it who were going home after attending a high school Holloween party. Sedillo was the lone occupant in his car and was wearing a Holloween mask. The victim’s car contained a 16-year-old female in the back, her 18-year-old brother in the front passenger seat, and their 19-year-old cousin driving. Sedillo shot several rounds at the victim’s car, hitting both front seat male passengers several times. One round struck the 18-year-old male passenger in the head, resulting in his death. The trial, based largely on circumstantial evidence, was lengthy and emotional. Lonergan secured guilty verdicts on all counts and allegations. Victim Richard Romero’s mother, Michelle Galloway, waited almost 30 months and lost two jobs before justice was accomplished. DDA Lonergan worked closely with Michelle Galloway, as he does with all victim’s and their families, in order to seek justice and provide some resemblance of closure for the families.

DDA John Lonergan has also volunteered his time to the Ian Pappas Directions Foundation. While in Compton Hardcore, Lonergan was assigned a case in which Ian Pappas was the murder victim. After losing her son to gangs, drugs and ultimately a violent murder, Ian’s mother, Gloria Banforde, began a foundation in his memory. Ms. Banforde, an actress, business woman and aerospace executive, started the foundation to provide at-risk youth exposure to areas of math/science and advanced technologies in order to better prepare them for advanced education. Lonergan has spoken to different classes on a number of occasions and has attended numerous events since 2003. 


Rudy Acevedo 
In January 2009, Detective Rudy Acevedo, Special Victims Bureau, was assigned a sensitive in custody case where it was alleged by a 15-year-old victim that her stepfather, Santiago Mondragon, MH/ DOB 07/25/69, repeatedly raped and sexually molested her over a seven-year period.

The 37-year-old suspect started molesting his stepdaughter when she was eight-years-old. The victim did not disclose the assaults until she was 15-years-old.  This is what made this case so difficult was that the victim was still very emotional and had great difficulty in discussing the incidents.  The victim mustered up the courage to tell her aunt and then wrote a letter to her mom describing the bondage, shame and abuse.  Subsequently, the victim was taken to be examined by the forensic specialist and there was no medical evidence to support the allegation.  The suspect was subsequently arrested and made no statements to the arresting deputies.

Detective Acevedo developed a strategy for investigating the allegations.  He realized he would have to develop some type of corroborating evidence to support the victim’s statements. Through his patient and compassionate interviewing, the victim was encouraged to recount the details of her assaults and felt instilled with new confidence to move forward with the case. To further his investigation, Detective Acevedo authored a search warrant and obtained additional evidence which supported the statements made by the victim. A witness was also identified favoring the victim’s account. 

 Shifting his focus to the interrogation phase, the suspect initially denied the allegations.  However, through keen investigative dexterity, Detective Acevedo sorted through the obstructions and lies of the suspect and reconstructed the events. After a skillful interrogation and a “DNA Ruse,” the suspect confessed to the allegations.

The case was ultimately presented to the District Attorney’s Office who filed 19 felony counts of 288 (a) PC, lewd acts with a child under 14-years-old and bail was set at $8 million, keeping the suspect in jail and facing eight life sentences. The successful prosecution of the suspect was the direct result of Detective Acevedo’s alliance with the sexual assault survivor, which epitomized his dedication and professionalism.

When sexual molestations occur within the family unit, this is particularly unsettling and very disturbing, since the relationships and finances within the family will be changed forever. Recognizing these challenges,  Detective Acevedo always made himself available taking the victim’s and families telephone calls day or night, week or weekends to make the family feel more safe and secure during a difficult time. He became the child/victim advocate, escorting them safely through the legal system and using his skills to an extraordinary level.  He also helped financially, as he orchestrated getting funds to this needy family, by buying the victim and her younger sibling, “Back to school clothing and school supplies.”

It is clear, Detective Acevedo has an outstanding reputation advocating on behalf of crime surviving children and families and works cooperatively with all the multi-disciplinary groups and public agencies who collectively intervene as well. For these reasons, I am nominating Detective Rudy Acevedo for the investigative Crime Survivor Award.


Tracy Stewart  
On October 16, 2009, a murder occurred in the City of La Canada Flintridge that left a (then) 9 year old girl without her mother. The girl was taken to the Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station when the incident was being investigated and where she was tended to by Sergeant Tracy Stewart. Sergeant Stewart immediately bonded with the girl and provided her comfort and sympathy. The little girl was in the station for several hours until the investigation concluded and her father arrived to take her home. After this horrific incident, Sergeant Stewart, knowing that the little girl would be without her mother forever, decided to prepare a gift basket for Christmas for the little girl to raise her spirits. Sergeant Stewart talked to Geraldo, the girl’s father, who said that his daughter would love to go Disneyland, but that he could not afford it. Sergeant Stewart immediately initiated and organized a donation campaign. Generous donations were given to this endeavor by Crescenta Valley Station personnel. Sergeant Stewart was able to purchase two Disneyland passes for the girl and her father, a box of generous gifts, and over $150.00 in spending money. Sergeant Stewart and other station personnel presented the gifts to Ginny. Ginny was smiling from ear to ear and was most surprised and appreciative of the large gift basket. Her father, Geraldo, was speechless. As Ginny tries t to piece her life back together, we at the Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station wished her and her family a Merry Christmas. 

Sergeant Tracy Stewart not only left a lasting impression on Ginny and her family, but she also left an impression on all of the personnel at Crescenta Valley Station. Tracy’s thoughtfulness, sincerity, and generosity definitely went above and beyond for a young victim of crime. She represented the Sheriff’s Department and law enforcement in a positive and outstanding manner.

Sergeant Stewart is a 17 year veteran of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. She has been assigned to custody, court, administrative, and patrol assignments during her career. She was promoted to Sergeant in February of 2005. Her husband is a Lieutenant with the Sheriff’s Department and is currently assigned to a patrol station.


Patrick O’Neill

Detective O’Neill was the handling detective on a gang related shooting. He relentlessly pursued the shooter conducting several interviews of witnesses. The suspect was arrested and started to make threats against the witnesses to not testify against the suspect.  Detective O’Neill demonstrated service excellence by taking the time and energy to assist the prosecution with several of the civilian witnesses who were being threatened by associates of the gang member. He went beyond just investigating the crime. He instilled confidence in the witnesses to come forward and testify against the gang members. Detective O’Neill did this by regularly checking in with the witnesses and on some occasions drove a witness to court to testify.

The Deputy District Attorney advised that many of the witnesses involved in the case told him that despite the violence that they had witnessed, and the threats they had endured, they were confident in coming forward and testifying due mostly to the concern and vigilance shown by Detective O’Neill. The gang member’s suspect was convicted of attempted murder. This conviction was largely in part by Detective O’Neill’s dedication and professionalism.

Detective O’Neill has been with the Los ANGELES Sheriff’s Department for twenty-one years. He has been assigned to Santa Clarita Station for ten years and is currently a detective on the Career Offender Burglary Robbery Apprehension (COBRA) team.


Deanna Fairley                            Greg Mock
Monique Malbrough                Fred Fontes
Stalin Ramirez                              Mi Hoang

Deputy Probation Officer Deanna Finley has shown excellent collaborative case work on this case. In essence, this probationer committed multiple property crimes and owed $48,864.90 in restitution to various victims. Since he had only paid $7,360.00 and probation was due to expire on 07-04-08, on 06-27-0, DPO Monique Malborough made a great casework decision and petitioned the court to extend probation to 07-04-10. Additionally, she reactivated the case to field supervision at which time it was assigned to DPO Finley.

When the probationer reported DPO Finley at the West County Probation Office he drove to the office in a 2009 Camry. After staffing the case with DPO’S Fred Fontes and Stalin Ramirez, DPO Finley requested their assistance in conducting a vehicle search of the probationer’s car. During the search, they located a copy of the sales contract, which reflected that the probationer purchased the vehicle with his wife and gave a $7,000.00 cash down payment. Once confronted with this paperwork, the probationer knew that his claiming to have no money was no longer believable, and he began to realize he would not be able to elude his restitution payments. He was arrested for 273(a) on02-26-09, but the case was later rejected by the District Attorney. However, this violation made it possible to bring the issue of the probationer’s outstanding restitution, and a second unreported new law violation from 11-24-08, under the Courts scrutiny. Surprisingly, the probationer’s wife (the victim in the case rejected by the D.A.) provided an enormous amount of information to local law enforcement, which later was passed on to the Court. Specifically, we learned that the probationer, her husband, had traveled six times, via deluxe accommodations, to Vietnam while on administrative caseload. Additionally, the probationer’s wife provided proof that he had stashed $80,000.00 in a bank account under her name. On 03-04-09, the Court ordered the probationer to pay the remaining $41,504.90 in full by 03-18-09, or face a prison. In between these respective dates, the probationer attempted to enlist assistance from DPO Finley and Collection Officer Mi Hoang, in trying to obtain a payment extension. He was instructed to pose that question to the Court but elected instead to remit $41,504.90 in full on 03-18-09.

RPO Greg Mock was also diligent throughout this process and obtained the Court’s assistance because the order read that “probation will be reinstated if check isn’t good.” When the funds were dispersed among the three victims, the largest check for $36,238.11 was returned as the victim had moved from their last known address. In her dedication towards the victim, Mi Hoang drove by the address on her own time and learned the house was now owned by the bank due to foreclosure. She immediately generated a certified letter to the victim, which she knew were typically forwarded by the post office. The victim contacted her and could not believe that the probationer had been forced to pay this obligation. The victim has since confirmed with the probation department that she did receive the funds owed to her.

As you can see, the efforts and time of many people working together helped to ensure this case had a positive outcome for its victims. Again, this is truly a wonderful example of the collaborative efforts of the probation department’s staff, and their unwavering dedication to make victims whole.


Michael Ortega

Deputy Probation Officer Mike Ortega is an excellent officer who goes “above and beyond” to serve his clients. An example of his dedication is an incident in which the probationer was on probation for fraudulent mortgage loan activities. In July of 2008, he pled guilty to stealing $62,000.00 which he obtained by refinancing second mortgages from unsuspecting victims. DPO Ortega instructed the probationer that he could not work in any capacity in the fields of real estate or loan brokering. The probationer adamantly denied being involved in any activities of this nature stating his present company was a “computer software company.” As a result of an investigation by Newport Beach Police Department and DPO Ortega, it was learned the probationer had continued to be involved in the brokering of loans and had been offering loan modifications for a fee. He would take a clients money up front, as much as $3,000.00 and then never provided the services promised. At the time he was taken into custody there were over 50 indentified victims. Several families lost their homes as a result of the probationer’s illegal activities. DPO Ortega has personally spoken to several victims who were being evicted and had been devastated by the false hope given to them with the promise of a loan modification. During the course of the investigation, it was determined the probationer had been operating the loan modification business on the Internet, and had victims nationwide. The FBI became involved in the case, and in collaboration with the Newport Beach Police Department, the OC Probation Department, and the OC District Attorney’s Office, the probationer has now been arrested and is facing several new felony law violations.

DPO Ortega really went “above and beyond” in this case. Not only did he spend many hours working collaboratively with the other law enforcement agencies, he also spent many hours talking to victims, allowing them to verbalize their emotions regarding their loss. He dealt with their anger and their tears and despite the fact this was taking an enormous part of his time, he continued to listen and pass on this information to Newport Beach Police Department. At one point he was receiving so many calls from current and past victims, we were looking to establish a new protocol, and seek a Volunteer in Probation to help him on this case. His collaboration with the Newport Beach Police Department, OC District Attorney’s Office, and the FBI was excellent and it was this effort that brought this probationer back into custody. Hopefully, in time some of these victims can be made whole again. At least we will have prevented future individuals from being victimized.


Mike Starnes

On May 15, 2009, a male went to the Ladera Ranch home of his ex-girlfriend, with her permission; to use her computer. The two had broken up a month earlier after dating and living together for several years. The female left for dinner with friends and returned around 9:00 p.m. The male and the female began arguing because she thought he was trying to spy on her by driving past the restaurant where she had been having dinner.  The suspect escalated the argument into a violent physical attack that the victim reported to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department the following night. The suspect was arrested and booked into the Orange County Jail.  

Following the attack, a protective order was issued that required the suspect to stay more than 200 yards away from the victim at all times and to have no contact with her directly or through a third party.  The suspect posted bail on Saturday, June 6, 2009 – the next day, he was accused of attempting to break into the victims home by putting his hand through a window near the front door.  When the victim’s two children saw what was happening and yelled, the suspect fled. 

On June 8, 2009, the suspect returned to the residence in violation of the protective order and assaulted the victim as she sat in her vehicle at the community mailbox. The suspect violently pulled the victim out of her vehicle, forced her to the ground and began to slam her head against the concrete sidewalk. A neighbor who witnessed the assault intervened and prevented the suspect from harming the victim any further. Eventually other neighbors assisted and were able to restrain the suspect until deputies arrived.

Investigator Starnes responded to the scene and was successful in obtaining a full confession from the suspect. The suspect said his intent was to kill the victim and would have done so if the neighbors had not stopped him. Investigator Starnes conducted a thorough investigation resulting in multiple felony charges against the suspect.

While in jail, the suspect persisted in his efforts to harm the victim and even solicited another inmate to kill her. Without  delay and applying sound investigative techniques, Investigator Starnes moved forward on this evolving case. Based upon his relentless efforts, additional charges of “murder for hire” were filed against the suspect.

Even though the suspect was now in-custody and facing numerous charges including attempted murder, Investigator Starnes continued to track the case. Inv. Starnes learned that the suspect was seeking information from other inmates on how to obtain an insanity defense. Inv. Starnes immediately went to work with this new information and forwarded his findings to the District Attorney’s Office.

Investigator Starnes worked tirelessly on this investigation to ensure the safety of the victim and to ensure justice would be served. In addition to his outstanding investigative work, Inv. Starnes maintained close contact with the victim and her family. Inv. Starnes stayed in frequent contact with the Victim Rights Specialist assigned to the case to make sure the needs of the victim and family were being met.  Inv. Starnes has spoken with the victim’s brother several times since this incident and briefed him on the events that have transpired.  Inv. Starnes has visited the victim to update her on the case and to check on her recovery progress.

Based upon his professionalism, work ethic and overall commitment to crime survivors, I believe Inv. Starnes would be an excellent candidate for this award.

Investigator Starnes is a 16 year veteran and is currently assigned to the Family Protection Detail. He is married and has two children, ages 6 and 8.


Dan Salcedo

Investigator Dan Salcedo is a 25 year veteran of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.  For the past 12 years, he has served in an investigator capacity in both Special Victims Unit (formerly Sex Crimes) and the Homicide Detail.  Dan has consistently gone above and beyond the normal scope of his duties as related to his relationship with the victims of crimes.  His compassion and care for the both victim and victim family are unparalleled.  Over the past year, Dan has been assigned several high profile, sensitive cases which have required him to interact almost on a daily basis with the family of victims.  During 2009, 4 death cases assigned to Dan are notable concerning his actions with the victim family.

The first case involved a toddler who accidently became trapped in a washing machine.  The tumble action of this machine caused fatal injuries to the infant.  Dan’s compassion, concern and tact when dealing with the parents during the investigation and ensuing product liability investigation were notable.  He was direct, informative and caring when dealing with the grief stricken parents.

The next two cases involve shootings which resulted in the death of citizens.  The fist was a male subject who was shot to death by a security guard.  Dan was responsible for this justifiable homicide investigation and has dealt with the victim’s family for the past 9 months.   The second was an elderly female who was shot by law enforcement after she pointed a handgun at them.  This case occurred over 6 months ago, but he still speaks with the victim’s family several times a week in an attempt to assist them in their grief and with problems as they arise.  Dan has patiently attempted to answer all questions, explained both the investigative and legal process, and cared for the needs of these victim families during this difficult time.

Dan has an incredible relationship with victim families.  More than a year ago, a young male was killed in the city of Stanton.  Dan continues to support the family of this homicide victim.  Dan is frequently heard talking on the telephone to the father of the victim.  He is patient, compassionate and caring during these conversations.  The suspect in this case fled to Mexico and has not yet been arrested.  Dan continues to search for the suspect while keeping the victim’s family apprised of the progress.   

In addition to his assigned cases, Dan is frequently asked to speak with Spanish speaking victims and their families in their time of crisis.  He is always patient with their questions, shows great concern and care for their needs.  He frequently assists with missing persons and other criminal cases.  Dan is truly deserving of being recognized for his diligent work with Crime Survivors, and is truly deserving a Crime Survivors Award.


Jim Amormino

Jim Amormino is more than the Director of Public Affairs and spokesperson for the Orange County Sheriff’s Department; he is also an advocate for victims of crimes – the crime survivors.  Examples of Jims outreach to victims follows:

Nine year old Ryan Ramos was kidnapped by his father, who had shot and gravely wounded the boy’s mother.  A huge search was initiated to try to locate and rescue the boy who was considered to be in great danger.  In addition to providing media coverage as the departments spokes person, Jim enlisted the help of the media for this search effort.  Not only did he seek assistance from regional media sources around Orange County, he had the foresight to get the details of the search far beyond the borders of Orange County and into Mexico, where it was believed Ryan may have been taken.

In fact, Ryan had been taken to Mexico.  It is believed that pressure brought to bear by news coverage on both sides of the border ultimately motivated the suspect to leave Ryan at a church in Juarez, Mexico.  The suspect died later that day from injuries sustained after being hit by a vehicle. 

Throughout this trying incident, Jim Amormino worked tirelessly to help return Ryan to his mother’s side.  Once Ryan was located, Jim facilitated his quick return to California by air in an Orange County Sheriff’s Department Volunteer  Aero Squadron plane so he could be with his mother, who was recovering from her injuries in the hospital.

Another more recent example of Jim’s dedication to helping crime victims occurred in December of 2009, when Julie Donnelley was walking her mini-schnauzer,” Kokanee”, near her San Clemente home.  Without warning a deranged man came out of nowhere, grabbed the small dog and killed her as she attempted to protect Julie.  The violent act traumatized Julie Donnelly and the loss of the family dog devastated her husband Steve and 14-month old son, John.

In addition to handling media demands related to news coverage of the story, Jim decided he wanted to do something more.  As a lifelong dog lover, Jim he saw how deeply the loss of their beloved dog affected the Donnelleys.  Jim rallied support from the public and members of the Sheriff’s Department.

Jim was hoping to provide a puppy and costs for initial expenses to the Donnelleys as a gift.   A call from Julie Pells, the owner of The Sand Bar Pet Shop in Mission Viejo, was the catalyst he needed.  Jim worked with Ms. Pells, who ultimately donated a mini- schnauzer puppy to the Donnelleys.  Monetary donations collected from Sheriff’s employeesand citizen volunteers covered additional puppy expenses – including shots, spaying and accessories.

Jim contacted Julie and asked if the family was interested in a new puppy.  The Donnelleys had planned to wait a while before getting another dog,  but the deciding factor was their 14-month old son. His first words were “ball” and “dog”. 

Jim brought Julie Pells and the Donnelleys together and soon the puppy, “Kootenay”, was part of the Donnelley family. The relationship this new dog has established with the family is heartwarming, and was made possible by Jim Amormino’s dedication to providing support and outreach to victims of crime. Jim’s efforts are very worthy of recognition by Crime Survivors.


Corinne Loomis

Detective Loomis’s caseload focuses on Domestic Violence and Child Molestation cases but she is called on to also interview children who witness horrific crimes, such as the sister and brother who watched their father stab their mother to death right in front of them.  The four-year old daughter, not comprehending the gravity of the situation, repeatedly patted the back of her neck and said, “Daddy stabbed Mommy in the neck.  He kept doing it.  She kept saying “no.”  Her seven-year old brother described how his father threw their mother to the ground and, in his words, “Stabbed my mom in the head.”  He told Detective Loomis that he hoped his mother wouldn’t die because, “Then we would be orphans.”  He looked at Detective Loomis, lowered his voice to a whisper and said, “It was really bad.”  The suspect was arrested and is awaiting trial.

Detective Loomis conducted the investigation of a 69-year old bus driver who sexually assaulted his 21-year old female passenger who had the cognitive maturity of an 11-year old.  Within yards of her aunt’s house, in broad daylight, he took her to the back of the bus, stripped her, molested her and photographed her nude body.  Adding insult to injury, he then gave her $10.00.  Although he denied the allegations, Detective Loomis wrote a search warrant for his house and found the photos.  He was convicted, sentenced to jail and is now a registered sex offender.

Detective Loomis arrested a 61-year old grandfather for repeatedly molesting his 9-year old granddaughter.  Detective Loomis then located and interviewed his now-32-year old daughter, who he also molested when she was 7 years old.  During the interview, he admitted to Detective Loomis that he was attracted to children that age because they were,  in his words, ”Young, tender and innocent.”  He is currently in jail pending trial.   

Detective Loomis is a true victim’s advocate. She has worked with and for victims for well over 25 years. She is an asset to the community and a hero to many victims.


Skip Lampman                  Deborah Lampman

On 12/2/2009 Santa Ana Police Officer Skip Lampman was dispatched to assist a Detective with a child molestation investigation in the City of Santa Ana. Upon his arrival, he found a mother and her three small children (8, 5 and 2) in a state of shock and panic. The 8 year old daughter had disclosed her abuse at the hands of her mother’s live-in boyfriend. Although the family was living in abject poverty, Officer Lampman immediately recognized this was a special victim and a loving family. As Officer Lampman worked through the investigation and the ultimate arrest of the offender, he came to understand the family’s difficulties and immediately decided he needed to offer further help to them.

Officer Lampman spoke to his wife Police Personnel Specialist Deborah Lampman and related the family’s circumstances and difficulties. Together they made the decision to make a difference in the lives of the entire family. They contacted their police department network, community support groups as well as the District Attorney’s Office and began to gather assistance for the family. Skip and Debbie collected clothing, Christmas gifts and furniture to ensure that even though the entire family had been victimized by the sexual assault, they were aware there were people that cared and wanted to help. The Lampmans assisted in the family’s transition to another relative’s residence to ensure their safety.

Over the course of the 2009 holiday season, the Lampmans made numerous visits, and phone calls to the family, to not only drop off items but to assist the mother in creation and dissemination of her resume as well as preparation for re-entering the job market. The Lampmans continued to support the family in their attempt to survive this violent crime.


Joe Hardin

Detective Joe Hardin- Joe Hardin has been a police officer for 12 years. He has worked for Seal Beach PD for the past 4 years, and briefly worked with his father the highly decorated Detective Darrell Hardin, a talented investigator who served our community for 28 years. Joe is a gregarious and outgoing employee, who brings a lot of energy to the workplace. Joe recently earned his Bachelor’s degree.

On March 26, 2009  two (2) Police Detectives from the Burbank PD contacted Detective Hardin, on behalf of their City Manager. They told Detective Hardin that the Burbank City Manager’s mother Marilyn Flad was a leisure World resident. Flad was suffering from the early stages of dementia so she required assistance to manage some of her affairs. As a family member was managing her finances he noticed some irregularities in Flad’s checking account activity That is when and why this was reported to the Burbank Police.

In accordance with jurisdictional protocol, the Burbank Police notified Detective Hardin. Detective Hardin learned that someone was using the account and routing numbers off of the victim’s checks to make purchases. Detective Hardin followed the trail and located a woman who had been Flad’s caregiver at one of the addresses where a fraudulent purchase had originated. The suspect, a career criminal, denied involvement and attempted to throw Detective Hardin off the trail by providing misleading information.

Detective Hardin diligently followed up every lead that presented itself. He did not allow himself to be distracted by the cunning and clever stories provided by a career criminal. When he completed the investigation, Detective Hardin arrested the suspect who protested that she had done nothing wrong. Detective Hardin’s thorough investigation and interrogation of the suspect led to a confession. The suspect later pled guilty to felony charges. Sadly, during the course of the investigation Marilyn Flad died of natural causes.


Tom Walsh                   Sara Weber

Sara Weber & Tom Walsh were dispatched to the Irvine police Station at approximately 1:30 am, to assist with the family members of a hostage situation.

A teenage girl’s estranged boyfriend was holding the girl’s father hostage in their home, while Tom Walsh and Sara Weber were called to the Irvine Police Station to be with the son and daughter.

The assailant had pistol whipped  one of the brothers and as he took the father and son to his car, the son escaped from the assailant, where he was then taken to the Irvine PD with the daughter (assailants ex girlfriend) She was at her own apartment at the time. 

They were soon informed that the ex boyfriend had been apprehended, and that someone had been taken to West. Med. Center because they were hurt. 

Later the daughter & son were informed by Police Officers that their father, mother and younger brother were all shot.  Father was dead, and they did not know the extent of the injuries to mom and brother.  Needless to say, the daughter was completely hysterical, almost out of control, driving to get to her car to drive.  Volunteer, Tom Walsh, kept her from doing that and was able to get a friend to come and drive her to the hospital.

Sara Weber & Tom Walsh moved to the hospital with the brother and other family members to provide support and resources to the grieving and concerned family members.

Tom Walsh spent the rest of the evening into early morning (6:30 am) talking to family members and assisting the visitation to Mom and the younger brother who was shot in the shoulder.

Sara Weber spent a majority of the evening with the youngest brother who was shot.  She was present when he was given the death notification of his father, and continued to stay with him until 6:00 am giving him the opportunity to share his thoughts and talk about what happened to his family. 


Thomas Finley

 In 2004, the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force began meeting and discussing protocols for providing victims of human trafficking both needed services and victim advocacy services. Sgt. Finley became aware of the protocols being developed and agreed to actively engage in the victim-centered protocols espoused by the task force and the federal government. He began to focus his detective team on developing leads for cases potentially related to the trafficking of persons for commercial sexual exploitation. Sgt. Finley and his team began to investigate cases potentially related to trafficking almost immediately, finding suspicious activities occurring in massage parlors, chiropractic clinics, acupuncturists, and residential brothels.

Sgt. Finley implemented the victim centered justice approach in a number of ways, and based his actions on the concept the police would work to restore a victim’s sense of safety and security throughout the investigative process. First, investigators placed undercover at locations were not allowed to engage in any types of activities that would further victimize a person. Second, officers performing interviews of person at a scene approached their interviews with the understanding the persons involved might be victims of trafficking. Third, Sgt. Finley coordinated with a victim advocate to be at the police department concurrent with ongoing criminal investigations. The victim advocate provided information about victim rights to possible victims, and would connect them with victim services (i.e., food, shelter, clothing, translation services, legal advocacy, etc.), depending on the circumstances of each case. One of Sgt. Finley’s primary considerations throughout these cases has been to treat persons involved with these cases with courtesy and dignity. He balances the need through investigations with appreciation that victims require personal consideration – and that their victimization is further at jeopardy because most human trafficking victims do not self-identify during their first few contacts with law enforcement and victim services agencies.

Sgt. Finley was rotated out of his detective assignment per police department protocol as of 2007. Nonetheless, though assigned to patrol, Sgt. Finley has continued to maintain his commitment to human trafficking investigations and victim advocacy. Sgt. Finley works both local investigations which might involve human trafficking and has begun to share his investigative and victim centered insights with other victim service and first responder agencies. Many of the 85 human trafficking victims serviced in Orange County have been discovered as a result of Sgt. Finley’s diligence, investigative skills, and case management. Each of these victims of human trafficking had survived modern day slavery, and their journey to survivorship has been facilitated by Sgt. Finley’s commitment to and practical application of victim-centered law enforcement practices.


Tim Walker

On Thanksgiving Day in 2001, a 15 year old boy was walking out of the Asian Garden Mall in Westminster with some friends and family members. As they walked through the parking lot, they were confronted by a group of gang members who asked the victims, “Where are you from?” implying they thought the victims were also gang members. When the victim stated they were not a part of any gang, the suspects attacked them without provocation.

During the confrontation that ensued, the 15-year old victim was kicked, punched, and struck with sticks and bottles. The suspects fled the area prior to police arrival. The victims were transported to the hospital; however, the 15-year old injuries were so severe he ultimately died. The investigation into the homicide yielded some leads, but none led to the identification or arrest of any suspects. As such, the case went cold.

Seven years later in 2008, Detective Tim Walker was investigating an unrelated case involving the sales of narcotics. During the investigation he came across some information which he felt may be related to the 2001 gang homicide. As he investigated deeper into the information he received, he realized this new information was directly related to the homicide and re-opened the investigation. This included re-interviewing numerous witnesses and a re-examination of all the evidence. Detective Walker was meticulous in his investigation. His desire and determination to identify the suspects responsible for this homicide was unmatched. After hours of interviews, a review of forensic evidence, and following up on new leads, his efforts were rewarded. Detective Walker ultimately identified four gang members responsible for the homicide. He presented the case to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office who reviewed the case and obtained warrants for the arrest of the suspects. With the warrants in hand, Detective Walker located and arrested all four suspects.

 Detective Walker clearly went above and beyond in his investigation. The information he received could have easily been overlooked. Fortunately, his ability to recall the information about the unsolved homicide and piece together the new information led to the arrest of these gang members who must now answer for their crime.


Christian Conrad

On May 15, 2009, a male went to the Ladera Ranch home of his ex-girlfriend, with her permission; to use her computer. The two had broken up a month earlier after dating and living together for several years. The female left for dinner with friends and returned around 9:00 p.m. The male and the female began arguing because she thought he was trying to spy on her by driving past the restaurant where she had been having dinner.  The suspect escalated the argument into a violent physical attack which the victim reported to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department the following night. The suspect was arrested and booked into the Orange County Jail.  

Following the attack, a protective order was issued that required the suspect to stay more than 200 yards away from the victim at all times and to have no contact with her directly or through a third party.  The suspect posted bail on Saturday, June 6, 2009 – the next day, he was accused of attempting to break into the victims home by putting his hand through a window near the front door.  When the victim’s two children saw what was happening and yelled, the suspect fled. 

On Monday, June 8th at around 8:00 a.m., the suspect violated the protective order and attacked the victim outside of her home. J. Christian Conrad was driving through the area when he saw the suspect run “with a purpose” toward a parked black truck.   As he drove past, Christian saw the suspect punch the victim (sitting in the driver seat of the truck) several times in the face. Conrad stopped – backed up just far enough to get another look and saw that the victim was now out of the truck, on her back in the gutter between the truck and some mailboxes.  The suspect was on top of her holding her by the hair on her head and slamming her head repeatedly against the concrete curb.

Christian was certain the suspect was trying to kill the victim – he put his vehicle in park, got out and ran toward the suspect, yelling at him to stop.  The suspect looked up at Christian briefly and went right back to bashing the victims head against the curb.  Christian estimated the suspect hit the victims head against the curb about ten times – Christian jumped on the suspect’s back and knocked him to the ground – he wrapped his arm around the suspect in a choke hold and pinned him to the ground until he eventually quit struggling. Christian, with assistance from other on lookers held the suspect down until sheriff’s deputies arrived and took him into custody. 

If there is any doubt about the suspects intentions when he attacked the victim, subsequent activities should put such doubt to rest.  While in custody in the Orange County Jail following the second attack, the suspect was accused of asking another inmate to assist him in having the victim murdered – he even asked that the killing be videotaped so he could watch it at Christmas.

Clearly Christian Conrad’s actions on June 8, 2009 are very worthy of a Special Recognition Award from Crime Survivors.  He took decisive, heroic action to stop a brutal attack against a helpless victim – with no regard for his own personal safety.  The OCSD investigator handling the case; Mike Starnes and his supervisor both agree that Conrad’s actions likely saved the victims life.  They fully support publicly recognizing Christian for the role he played in helping the victim survive this brutal attack. 

In fact, Investigator Starnes was also nominated to receive a Crime Survivors Award for his victim interaction as an investigator for this same incident.