U.S. Attorney's Office Observes National Crime Victims' Rights Week & Hosts Ceremony To Honor Contributions To Crime Victims' Rights
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Each year in April, the Department of Justice and the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of North Carolina observe National Crime Victims’ Rights Week (NCVRW), by taking time to honor victims of crime and those who advocate on their behalf.
Throughout this week, the U.S. Attorney’s Office joins federal, state, local and Tribal law enforcement agencies, service providers, victim advocates and other allied professionals in remembering and honoring victims lost to violence and survivors of violence. This year’s observance, which takes place April 24-30, with the theme “Rights, Access, Equity for all Victims,” underscores the importance of assisting crime survivors find their justice by enforcing victims’ rights, expanding access to services, and ensuring equity and inclusion.
To commemorate NCVRW, the U.S. Attorney’s Office hosted an awards ceremony today, to honor outstanding individuals for their dedication to the cause of justice and for their support and service to crime victims.
“This week highlights the importance of promoting equal access to services for crime victims and ensuring that our criminal justice system supports all aspects of victims’ healing and recovery throughout the legal process and beyond,” said U.S. Attorney Dena J. King. “The individuals honored today were selected for their work in delivering justice to victims and their loved ones. Their work serves as a reminder that what we do impacts countless lives. I am grateful for the honorees’ contributions and I am proud of their work in ensuring that each and every crime victim in Western North Carolina receives the assistance and justice they need and deserve.”
Following is a list of the 14 award recipients who were nominated by their colleagues and selected by U.S. Attorney King:
Outstanding Law Enforcement Award
- Special Agent Klarissa Zaffark – Homeland Security Investigations
- Captain Errol Wedra – Mint Hill Police Department
- Captain Marnee Moberg – Mint Hill Police Department
- Criminal Analyst John White – Mint Hill Police Department
Outstanding Criminal Justice Professional Award
- Assistant U.S. Attorney Alexis Solheim
- Assistant U.S. Attorney Kenneth Smith
- Assistant U.S. Attorney Caryn Finley
- Assistant U.S. Attorney Benjamin Bain-Creed
- Assistant U.S. Attorney Julia Wood
Outstanding Support Staff Award
- Legal Assistant Robert Cassidy
- Legal Assistant Stacey Clickner
- Legal Administrative Specialist Shafia Rangoonwala
- Paralegal Lisa Shenton
Outstanding Victim Survivor Award
- Arist (Art) Doumtjes
U.S. Attorney King thanked the honorees for their outstanding dedication and service in working with crime victims and noted the important role each honoree has played in delivering justice and providing victims with the support they need in the aftermath of crime.
Throughout the nation, and in the Western District of North Carolina, victim advocacy organizations, community groups and state, local, and Tribal agencies host rallies, candlelight vigils, and other events during NCVRW, to raise awareness of victims’ rights and services. The Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) leads communities in their annual observances of NCVRW by promoting victims’ rights and honoring crime victims and those who advocate on their behalf. This year, several national events are returning in-person, but will continue to feature livestream feeds. On Thursday, April 28, 2022, a candlelight vigil will be held on the National Mall near the U.S. Capitol from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. On Friday, April 29, 2022, the National Crime Victims’ Service Awards Ceremony will be held at Constitution Gardens National Park on the National Mall from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. To access a livestream feed for either event, please visit ovc.ojp.gov/live.
OVC and the U.S. Attorney’s Office encourages widespread participation in the week’s events and in other victim-related observances throughout the year. For additional information about this year’s National Crime Victims’ Rights Week and how to assist victims in your community, please visit OVC’s website at www.ovc.gov. For ongoing updates from OVC and ideas throughout the year on how you can support victims, please subscribe to OVC’s email notifications at https://ovc.ncjrs.gov/ncvrw/subscribe/.
Department of Justice
Office of the U.S. Attorney
Western District of North Carolina