Introduction

Just Sexual Assault Response and Supporting Vulnerable Populations

Just Sexual Assault Response and Supporting Vulnerable Populations

Original Release Date: April 1, 2022

In episode one of our 2022 Sexual Assault Awareness Month mini season, Just Science sat down with Mary Weston, the Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, Supervisor of the Cold Case Unit, and Project Manager of the Sexual Assault Kit Task Force at the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office to discuss sexual assault response with vulnerable populations.

Different challenges may arise when prosecuting sexual assault cases involving vulnerable populations, including cases with male victims. Listen along as Mary Weston discusses strategies for effective prosecution of cases with male victims, provides rationales for why members of vulnerable populations may be targeted for sexual assault, and presents considerations for the safety, healing, and well-being of survivors.

This episode of Just Science is funded by the National Institute of Justice’s Forensic Technology Center of Excellence.

Some content in this podcast may be considered sensitive and may evoke emotional responses or may not be appropriate for younger audiences. 

Listen to or download the episode here:

View or download the episode transcript here:
Transcript


Related Resource


Guest Biography

Mary Weston is the Supervisor of the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office’s Cold Case/GOLD Unit. The Cold Case/Gold Unit focuses on (a) reviewing cold case sexual assaults and homicides for new leads, including the applicability of advanced DNA methodologies; and (b) the collection of Lawfully Owed DNA. Mary has been an assistant prosecuting attorney since 2006 and joined the Cuyahoga County Sexual Assault Kit Taskforce when it was formed in 2013. Currently, she is the Project Manager for the Taskforce, overseeing all aspects of cold case sexual assault and homicide investigations, making charging decisions, presenting cases to the grand jury, and litigating cases in court and on appeal.


The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this podcast episode are those of the presenter(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Department of Justice.

Contact us at ForensicCOE@rti.org with any questions and subscribe to our newsletter for notifications.


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