Police, prosecutors and communities in the United States are experiencing a transformation in the way they view commercial sexual exploitation, and these shifting perspectives are affecting law enforcement’s response to prostitution and sex trafficking. At this pivotal moment, the Villanova Law Institute to Address Commercial Sexual Exploitation (CSE Institute), in collaboration with the Robina Institute of Criminal Law and Criminal Justice, hosts Commercial Sexual Exploitation: Shifting Perspectives and Policing Practices.
This one-day conference brings together national and international experts to discuss innovative police practices and prosecution strategies, international perspectives on policing commercial sexual exploitation, challenges to gathering sound empirical data and opportunities to advance reform.
The event takes place on Friday, June 24, from 8:50 a.m. - 4:15 p.m., in the Blank Rome LLP Classroom (Rm 102) at the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law. It is open to the Villanova community and the public and is approved by the Pennsylvania Continuing Legal Education Board for 6 substantive credits.
Welcome: 8:50 – 9 a.m.
Panel 1: 9 – 10:15 a.m. “Innovative Investigations and Shifting Police Practices”
Lt. Donna Gavin, Detective, Boston Police Department (Boston, Massachusetts)
Marian Hatcher, Senior Project Manager and Human Trafficking Coordinator for the Office of Public Policy, Cook County Sheriff’s Office (Chicago, Illinois)
Margie Quin, Assistant Special Agent in Charge, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (Nashville, Tennessee)
Moderator: Les Glauner, Detective, Upper Merion Police Department
Panel 2: 10:15 – 11:30 a.m. “Prosecuting Sex Trafficking: Diverting Victims, Deterring Demand and Targeting Traffickers”
Dalia Racine, Deputy Chief Assistant District Attorney, Dekalb County District Attorney’s Office (Decatur, Georgia)
Amanda Rodriguez, Chief Program Officer, Turnaround, Inc. (Baltimore, Maryland)
Robert Schopf, Deputy District Attorney, Lehigh County District Attorney’s Office (Allentown, Pennsylvania)
Moderator: Shea Rhodes, Director, the Villanova Law Institute to Address Commercial Sexual Exploitation
Break: 11:30 – 11:45 a.m.
Panel 3: 11:45 a.m. – 1 p.m. “Difficulties with Data: The Promise and Perils of Empirical Research on Commercial Sexual Exploitation”
Joel Filmore, Clinical Assistant Professor, the Family Institute at Northwestern University (Evanston, Illinois)
Eliza Reock, Director of Programs, Shared Hope International (Vancouver, Washington)
Christine Stark, Community Faculty Member, Metropolitan State University (Minneapolis, Minnesota)
Moderator: Michelle Dempsey, Faculty Advisor, the Villanova Law Institute to Address Commercial Sexual Exploitation
Lunch: 1 – 1:45 p.m.
Panel 4: 1:45 – 3 p.m. “International Perspectives on Commercial Sexual Exploitation”
The Rev. Margaret Fowler, Executive Director, Theodora Foundation (Negril, Jamaica)
Ruchira Gupta, Founder, Apne Aap Women Worldwide (Kolkata, India)
Nicole Siller, Research Fellow and PhD Candidate, University of Groningen (Groningen, Netherlands)
Moderator: Ruth Gordon, Professor of Law, Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law
Panel 5: 3 – 4:15 p.m. “Creating Real Opportunities for Survivors and Cultivating Survivor Leadership”
Alisa Bernard, Board member, Organization for Prostitution Survivors (Seattle, Washington)
Autumn Burris, Founder and Director, Survivors For Solutions (San Diego, California)
Vednita Carter, President and Founder, Breaking Free (St. Paul, Minnesota)
Shamere McKenzie, Anti-trafficking Program Director, Salvation Army of Central Maryland; and CEO, Sun Gate Foundation (Alexandria, Virginia)
Moderator: Lesha Sanders, Project Dawn Court, First Judicial District of Pennsylvania