Yesterday marked the 30th anniversary of the day I started as a prosecutor at the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office. My training class included several other prosecutors still working here today. I was a law clerk before that, and an intern in Vehicular Crimes before that.
As I look back, we have come such a long way! When I started (and I say this at the risk of sounding really old), we did not have computers. Support staff had these funky things called “DGs” with screens that were green on black. We did not have voicemail (even though it existed) and since my background is in sex crimes, I really can tell you about the changes there.
When I started:
- Sexual assault of a spouse was a class 6 felony.
- The rape shield law was not codified.
- Sexual assaults could all run concurrently, no matter how many acts were perpetrated.
- There was a 7 year statute of limitations on molestation and sexual assault.
- Child sex trafficking defendants could not be held accountable if the victim was 15 – 17 years old unless we could prove that they knew the victim was under 18.
- A grandparent having sex with a grandchild who was 15 was a class 6 felony.
And there are many, many other changes. All of the above changes in sex crimes were prompted by and championed by prosecutors – primarily, if not solely, from this office. That is the influence that this office has on our community and our society. I am so proud to have been a part of this office for 30 years because of the tremendous positive impact it has on making our community safe and giving victims a voice in the criminal justice system.