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Victims' Rights Breakfast

Victims' rights breakfast celebrates child protection amendment

The successful passage of a Missouri constitutional amendment regarding child sex crimes was the focus of the annual victims’ rights breakfast hosted by the Platte County Prosecuting Attorney’s office. Members of the community joined crime victims, law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and others on April 24 as part of national crime victims’ rights week.

Platte County Prosecuting Attorney Eric Zahnd said, “In many ways, this year’s breakfast was a celebration. The voters’ enactment of Constitutional Amendment 2 was a significant step forward in victims’ rights and will help generations of children.”

Constitutional Amendment 2, which passed with 80% of the vote in November 2014, allows juries to know about a criminal defendant’s prior sex crimes in child sex abuse trials. Prior to its passage, Missouri law was more restrictive than any other state and the federal government in preventing jurors from knowing the criminal past of a repeat sex offender.

Zahnd co-chaired the campaign that led to the passage of the amendment. The idea to change the law originated with Chris Seufert, an assistant prosecutor in Zahnd’s office.

The breakfast featured a keynote address by NaToyia Wilson. Wilson, who advocated for the passage Constitutional Amendment 2, shared her own powerful story as the victim of sexual abuse by a family member. That man was finally convicted decades later of abusing another family member.

Wilson currently works for the civil rights division of the Kansas City Human Relations Department. She previously served as a victim advocate in the Johnson County, Kansas District Attorney’s Office.

Jennifer Atterbury received the Tenth Annual Sara Andrasek Memorial award for her work in raising funds to secure the passage of Amendment 2. Atterbury is currently a prosecutor in Lee’s Summit and previously served as a prosecutor for Jackson County. She has also served as board president of Child Protection Center and as board member for the Metropolitan Organization to Counter Sexual Assault.

Zahnd said, “NaToyia Wilson and Jennifer Atterbury spent many hours supporting Amendment 2, and they have spent countless other hours helping abused children. They are inspiring examples of what can happen when people choose to give back to their community.”

The Sara Andrasek Memorial Award is given each year in the memory of the Platte County woman who was raped and murdered in 2001 while pregnant with her first child. Zahnd’s office and the Kansas City, Missouri Police Department were in the final stages of preparing a death penalty case against Wayne Dumond when Dumond died while in custody.

The event was coordinated by Tanya Faherty, who is the victim advocate in Zahnd’s office. It began ten years ago at the urging of Jill Baker, who is a legal assistant in Zahnd’s office.

If you need more information, please contact our office’s media liaison, Jill Baker.

Eric G. Zahnd
Platte County Prosecuting Attorney
415 Third Street, Suite 60
Platte City, Missouri64079
(816) 858-3476
(816) 858-3472 (fax)

Public invited to victims' rights breakfast

The public is invited to attend the tenth annual Victims’ Rights Breakfast hosted by the Platte County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. The free breakfast will be held at 8:00 a.m. on Friday, April 24, 2015 at the Platte City United Methodist Church.

The breakfast is part of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, which is April 19th-25th. This year’s theme is “Engaging Communities: Empowering Victims.”

Platte County Prosecuting Attorney Eric Zahnd said, “People who have survived being victimized by crime deserve our support. This breakfast is simple way to empower victims and thank those who work to hold offenders responsible for their crimes.”

The speaker for the breakfast this year will be NaToyia Wilson. Wilson is a crime victim who was a vocal proponent of Constitutional Amendment 2, which allows evidence prior sex crimes to be admitted in child sex abuse trials. Amendment 2 was enacted after garnering support from about 80% of Missouri voters in November 2014.

The breakfast will also feature the presentation of the Tenth Annual Sara Andrasek Memorial Award, which recognizes an individual or entity that has provided particularly outstanding service to crime victims.

Andrasek was pregnant with her first child when she was raped and murdered. Zahnd’s office and the Kansas City, Missouri Police Department were in the final stages of preparing a death penalty case against Wayne Dumond for that when Dumond died while in custody.

The breakfast will once again be held at the Platte City United Methodist Church located at 14040 Highway N, Platte City, Missouri.

If you have any questions about the event, please feel free to contact the victim advocate in the prosecuting attorney’s office, Tanya Faherty, at (816) 858-3476.

Eric G. Zahnd
Platte County Prosecuting Attorney
415 Third Street, Suite 60
Platte City, Missouri64079
(816) 858-3476
(816) 858-3472 (fax)