Hennepin County Attorney's Office hosting national prosecutors' convention

Thursday, July 13, 2017

As the X Games wind down, the National District Attorneys Association Summit will be gearing up in downtown Minneapolis. The three-day conference is focusing on reducing violence against women and their exploitation with guest speakers ranging from experts on sex and human trafficking to an Emmy winning documentary producer.
 
“We are very pleased that the NDAA board agreed with my request last year to bring the summer summit to Minneapolis,” Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said. “This will be a chance for my fellow prosecutors from around the United States to come together and discuss the major issues facing all of us, but especially the violence against women and their exploitation. It also allows us to show off our beautiful city and state.”
 
More than 250 people have registered for the convention. It kicks off at 11 a.m. Sunday with welcoming remarks from Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton and current NDAA President Mike Ramos, the district attorney in California’s San Bernardino County. Later that day, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, a former member of the association, will give the keynote speech.
 
Monday, award-winning producer Amy Ziering will discuss her 2015 film, “The Hunting Ground,” about sexual assaults on college campuses. She will follow that up with panels on understanding the dynamics of campus sexual assaults and sex on campus.
 
John Temple, a former assistant district attorney in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office will discuss sex-trafficking and social media solicitation on the Dark Web.
 
At the luncheon that day, United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions will speak. The luncheon is where Freeman will be elevated to president of the NDAA.
 
In the afternoon, Attorney Rebecca Leitman Veidlinger, who has prosecuted sex crimes and done Title IX investigations around the country, will speak about coordinating campus investigations and criminal prosecutions. And Minnesota prosecutors—Peter Orput of Washington County, Karin Sonneman of Winona County and John Choi of Ramsey County—will discuss the evolution of Minnesota’s prosecution and law enforcement response to addressing gender-based violence.
 
Tuesday, Benjamin Hawk, the deputy director for litigation in the U.S. Department of Justice, will talk about federal human trafficking laws on forced labor and the sex trade. He will be joined by Laura Provinzino, an assistant U.S. Attorney here in Minneapolis.
 
Craig Kalkut, vice president of government affairs for the American Hotel & Lodging Association and Christine Wilson, senior vice president-legal, for Delta Airlines will discuss sex trafficking and engaging businesses in identifying trafficking victims.
 
The closing plenary session will include remarks by Cyrus Vance Jr., the District Attorney in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.

All sessions will be at the Hilton Hotel, 1001 Marquette Ave. The welcoming remarks by Gov., Dayton, and the keynote by Sen. Klobuchar, as well as the Attorney General’s speech and the closing keynote speech by Mr. Vance are open to the media. The other panels generally are not open to reporters but if you have a particular interest in a person or session, contact Chuck Laszewski at the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office and we will try to make accommodations.
 
The National District Attorneys Association was formed in 1950 by local prosecutors to advance their causes and issues at the national level. Representatives of the association meet regularly with the Department of Justice, members of Congress and other national associations to represent the views of prosecutors in the crafting of federal and national policies and programs that affect law enforcement and county prosecutors.