For Immediate Release - April 11, 2012

New Assistant Attorney General Appointed to Handle Human Trafficking Cases for AG’s Office

BOSTON – A new Assistant Attorney General has been appointed to pursue human trafficking cases as a part of the Human Trafficking Prosecution Strike Force, Attorney General Martha Coakley announced today.  Deborah Bercovitch, an attorney with extensive prosecution experience, most recently worked in the Middlesex District Attorney’s Child Abuse Unit as an Assistant District Attorney (ADA). 

“Deb Bercovitch has a strong prosecutorial record and has extensive experience investigating and prosecuting cases that deal with the most vulnerable victims, including child abuse and domestic violence cases,” said AG Coakley.  “Her past experience will allow her to play a vital role as we implement the new human trafficking law and investigate and prosecute these cases in the Commonwealth.”

Bercovitch, a Cambridge resident, is a graduate of Northeastern University School of Law and Tufts University.  Bercovitch previously served as an ADA in the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office for nine years.  Most recently, she was assigned to the Child Abuse Division where she investigated and prosecuted child sexual and physical assault cases.  Bercovitch was recently awarded while in the Middlesex DA’s Office for her commitment and dedication to the protection of children.  Bercovitch also worked as a legal intern and a victim witness advocate at the Middlesex DA’s Office.  Prior to becoming an ADA at the Middlesex DA’s Office, Bercovitch worked as a legal intern at Cambridge and Somerville Legal Services, where she represented low-income victims of domestic violence in family law matters; the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, where she researched and drafted legal memoranda pertaining to voting rights, equal access to education, and other constitutional law issues; and at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, where she researched various criminal law matters.

In her role, Bercovitch will work as part of the recently created Human Trafficking Prosecution Strike Force located in the AG’s Enterprise and Major Crimes Division.  Her primary responsibility will be to investigate and prosecute criminal organizations involved in the trafficking and exploitation of people for sex and labor.  This includes a wide range of associated crimes, traditional and non-traditional, which may be part of a human trafficking scheme.

The Enterprise and Major Crimes Division targets criminal enterprises and organizations using sophisticated investigative techniques and strategies in order to develop high-impact prosecutions. The Division includes prosecutors and State Police assigned to the Attorney General’s Office who work closely with various federal, state, and local law enforcement authorities and agencies to target, investigate, prosecute and disrupt criminal organizations in order to ensure public safety in communities throughout the Commonwealth. 

The Human Trafficking Law went into effect on February 19, 2012.  In March 2012, AG Coakley’s Office arrested and arraigned four individuals charged in connection with running a sophisticated human trafficking operation in and around the Boston area.  These are the first individuals charged by AG Coakley’s Office under the new human trafficking law in Massachusetts.

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