Superior Court Assistant District Attorneys
Assistant District Attorneys assigned to Superior Court prosecute most felony crimes, such as murder, rape, armed robbery and motor vehicle homicide, in the three Superior Courts in Essex County. They also present these cases to the Grand Jury for indictment.
District Court Assistant District Attorneys
The Assistant District Attorneys assigned to the District Court handle the vast majority of cases that come before the 8 District Courts and 4 Juvenile Courts in Essex County. All criminal charges are arraigned in District Court. Felony crimes are then presented to the Grand Jury for indictment and tried in the Superior Court.
Specialized units are formed within specific District Court jurisdictions to address specific crimes utilizing Superior Court and District Court Assistant District Attorneys. For example, The Lynn Gun Court was created in 2006 at the request of District Attorney Blodgett by Chief District Court Judge Lynda Connolly in order to expedite prosecution of all firearms cases and eliminate the backlog of cases. In accomplishing this goal, the Lynn Gun Court has succeeded in getting these perpetrators off the street more quickly.
Another example is the Auto Insurance Fraud Task Force, which formed in 2003, and is comprised of Superior Court and District Court ADAs who work closely with the Lynn and Lawrence Police Departments, the Insurance Fraud Bureau and the Attorney General’s Office to aggressively investigate and prosecute auto insurance fraud in Lynn and Lawrence. This joint effort has resulted in a dramatic reduction in accident insurance claims as well as a corresponding savings for policyholders in Lynn and Lawrence.
The Appeals Division handles all appeals and other matters in the Appeals Court, Supreme Judicial Court and Supreme Judicial Court for Suffolk County, as well as some post-conviction matters in the trial courts, cases before the Parole Board, summonses and subpoenas, and public records requests. Among other duties, it also provides litigation support for trial assistant district attorneys and training for prosecutors, police and others.
Financial Crimes and Public Corruption
Essex First Assistant District Attorney John Dawley directs the prosecution of white collar crime and public corruption cases.
Family Crimes And Sexual Assault Unit
The Family Crimes and Sexual Assault Unit is a multidisciplinary unit that focuses on the investigation and prosecution of domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse cases. It is comprised of Assistant District Attorneys, Victim-Witness Advocates, Forensic Interviewers and Police Investigators. The Unit is dedicated to providing specialized investigative approaches, assessment tools, prosecution strategies, and victim-witness services for crimes involving sexual assault, domestic violence, child abuse, elder abuse and disabled persons abuse. The Unit works closely with the Department of Children and Families, Elder Services Agencies and the Disabled Persons Protection Commission.
Essex County Child Abuse Project
The Essex County Child Abuse Project or ECCAP is a collaborative effort between the District Attorney's Office, Department of Children and Families, and local and state law enforcement agencies. ECCAP, established in 1986 to ensure a sensitive, multidisciplinary response to child abuse, coordinates team investigations of children who allege sexual assault or serious physical abuse. Teams consist of an assistant district attorney, a victim witness advocate, a police officer, a forensic interview specialist and social worker(s) from the Department of Children and Families. The investigations are child-sensitive and conducted by professionals who have experience in the assessment and management of cases involving children. The Project was designed to help families during a very difficult time to understand what will happen, to coordinate the efforts of all agencies who must be involved by state mandate to investigate allegations of abuse, and to assist children and families with navigating the criminal justice system and finding appropriate services for evaluation and treatment when necessary.
State Police Detective Unit
Massachusetts State Police detectives are assigned to the Essex District Attorney's Office to investigate all sudden and unattended deaths, as well as homicides that take place in Essex County. The Unit also investigates cases of child sexual and physical abuse, sexual assault, kidnapping, missing persons and white-collar crime. The Essex Narcotics Unit works closely with local law enforcement through the Lynn and Lawrence Drug Task Forces that investigates the manufacturing, distribution of illegal drugs. Both Units work closely with local law enforcement and federal agencies.
Computer Crime Unit
The Computer Crime Unit (CCU) provides investigative and technical assistance to Essex County police departments, state police, and the US Attorney’s Office on crimes related to or involving a computer. Investigative assistance ranges from preparation of affidavits, serving search warrants, removal of equipment from a crime scene and forensic examination of computers or cell phones.