2018-06-27 / Front Page

Honored Dept. of Justice Attorney to speak in Margaretville

Alessandra Serano will address human and child trafficking
Joan Lawrence-Bauer

     US Dept. of Justice Attorney Alessandra Serano, who currently serves as the National “Project Safe Childhood” Coordinator, will visit the region on Sunday and speak about child trafficking and related topics.

     Ms. Serano is an Assistant United States Attorney on temporary detail in Washington DC as the National Project Safe Childhood Coordinator.  She is the principal subject matter expert in the areas of child exploitation and child trafficking on behalf of the Department of Justice. Previously, she was an Assistant US Attorney in the Criminal Division in the Southern District of California and worked on organized crime and gangs involved in human trafficking and narcotics trafficking.

     Serano has tried more than 40 federal felony cases while employed at the U.S. Attorney's Office and argued more than a dozen appeals before the Ninth Circuit. She was also Project Safe Childhood Coordinator responsible for the coordination of investigations and prosecutions of all federal child exploitation offenses charged in the District.

     Statistics show that 46 children in America are taken and sold into slavery per day, for trafficking that occurs in poor neighborhoods and affluent suburbs, urban centers and rural areas. No child, family or community is without need for awareness and protection when it comes to avoiding the terrible effects of child trafficking.

     Serano, graduated magna cum laude from the University of Miami School of Law in 1999 and received her BA in Political Science/Law & Society from the University of California, Riverside in 1993.  Her work during the Obama administration was much lauded and continues under the Trump administration.

     In October 2012, Serano received the United States Attorney General's Award for outstanding community partnership to promote public safety. In June 2013, she received the “Top Prosecutor” award from Women in Federal Law Enforcement. In September, 2013, she received the Federal Bar Association’s Hon. Sarah T. Hughes Civil Rights Award. In October 2014, her team received the California Narcotic Officers’ Association Narcotic Team of the Year. In January 2015, she received an “Angels in Trafficking” Award from the Bilateral Safety Corridor Coalition for my work in helping trafficking survivors.

     In April 2015, the attorney and her team received a Meritorious Service Award from the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department for work on Operation Stolen Souls, an investigation into an organization in East County that was trafficking minors primarily from East County. In 2017, her team was nominated for a Director's Award for their work related to Operation Fab Trap, a three-year long investigation into two criminal street gangs and sex trafficking of minors. Sixty victims were recovered.

     An adjunct law professor at the University of San Diego School of Law where she teaches a class on human trafficking, Serano's presentation will cover what human trafficking is (and is not), the prevalence of the crime in the United States as well as red flags and prevention techniques communities and families can take to deter, detect and report human trafficking. An emphasis on criminal gangs and sex trafficking will be discussed.

     Serano will deliver her presentation at 6:00 p.m. this Sunday, July 1, in the Community Room of Catskill Mountain Christian Center at 629 Main St. in Margaretville.  The meeting is informational in nature and all who are interested are invited to attend, regardless of any specific religious affiliation or lack thereof. This is not a religious or political event and community members of all ages, genders, colors and affiliations are encouraged to attend.  For more information, email: cmcconline@yahoo.com.


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