Courtney Wild v. United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida

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Legal Momentum and pro bono counsel Mary Christine Sungaila of the Buchalter firm filed an amicus brief in support of Courtney Wild's petition to the Supreme Court to decide whether the 2004 federal Crime Victims Rights Act (CVRA), a bill of rights for federal crime victims with specific enforcement provisions, contains rights-creating language that allows crime victims to sue to enforce their right to confer with prosecutors before the Government files a federal indictment. Ms. Wild’s petition is the result of the 2008 Florida case against Jeffrey Epstein where the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida agreed to a secret non-prosecution agreement proposed by Epstein’s high-profile defense team. The agreement allowed Epstein to plead to a state charge of procuring for prostitution a girl below age 18, shutting down the federal case. 

The brief also seeks to educate the Court on the realities of sex trafficking victimization and the obstacles that too often stand in the way of victim participation in the criminal justice system, not least of which are the explicit and implicit biases held by many justice system officials. Without an interpretation of the CVRA that gives victims a voice before the filing of an indictment, prosecutors are incentivized to dispose of cases pre-charging with no input from those affected.

  • Fairness in the Courts
  • Human Trafficking

Year: 

2020
  • Authored Amicus Brief

Brief: