Did You Know ...

Issue 3, 2013 

From the Office of the Alameda County District Attorney

Nancy E. O'Malley, District Attorney

 Sexual Assault Awareness Month

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM). The goal of SAAM is to raise awareness about sexual violence, including sexual abuse, sexual assault, and other related crimes, and to educate the public about how to prevent it. The first national SAAM was declared in 2001 and has been observed every April since then. The theme for this year's SAAM is "It's time... to talk about it. Talk early, talk often. Prevent sexual violence."


According to the Rape Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) a sexual assault occurs every two minutes in the US - that's over 200,000 sexual assaults annually. Although this figure is astounding, there is hope; rates of sexual assault have fallen 60% in the decade since SAAM became officially recognized. The credit for this reduction may belong in part to the awareness-raising that SAAM accomplishes, but there is still a long way to go. A Justice Department survey estimates that 54% of sexual assaults are never even reported to the police.  





Recent Sexual Abuse Verdicts: On March 28, 2013, a jury found the defendant, Mark Andrew Cowart, guilty of seventeen counts of sexual abuse of his own biological daughter. He was held accountable for seventeen counts of forcible rape, oral copulation, sodomy, sexual penetration and incest. This abuse occurred from 2002-2010 in Hayward, CA and was eventually reported in 2011 by the victim to Hayward Police. The jury came back with a swift verdict on all counts. The sentencing is scheduled for April 18, 2013 by the Honorable Winifred Smith. The prosecutor was DDA Samantha Kim.


On February 15, 2013, a jury convicted James Timothy McCarthy of thirteen counts of continuous sexual abuse, aggravated sexual assault and rape of a minor under the age of 14. The defendant is expected to be sentenced to a life term in prison on March 18, 2013. The prosecutor was DDA Casey Bates.

National Crime Victims' Rights Week
April 21-27 is National Crime Victims' Rights Week, a time to recognize and raise awareness about the rights that victims of crime have. Many who have been victimized by crime might be unaware, for instance, that they have the right to know what is going on with their case, and to be reasonably protected from the defendant. Our Office has put together a public service announcement informing victims of their rights, that is available for viewing on our website. In order to reach as many Alameda County residents as possible, we have made versions of this video in several languages that are commonly spoken within Alameda County.  

 The theme for Victims' Rights Week 2013 is "New Challenges, New Solutions." In recognition of Victims' Rights Week, our Office's Victim-Witness Assistance Division has created a Wordpress blog where members of the public can share their stories. How has crime impacted your life? What challenges has it posed? What solutions have you found? Visit victimsrightsweek.wordrpess.com, or tweet @AlamedaCountyDA with the hashtag #NCVRW to join the conversation.

Additionally, the Victim-Witness Assistance division will be holding several free events all week at libraries throughout the county. The events schedule is as follows:

Monday 4/22: Events at the Fremont Library and the Alameda Free Library/
Tuesday 4/23: Event at the Castro Valley Library
Wednesday 4/24: Event at the Albany Library
Thursday 4/25: Event at the Newark Libary
Friday 4/25: Events at the Oakland Public Library and the San Leandro Library.  

All library events will be held from 2-5 pm. 
Family Justice Center to Host Drug Take-Back Event April 27

District Attorney Nancy E. O'Malley states "Prescription drug abuse is a vital public safety and public health issue. When people let their unused pills sit in home medicine cabinets they are unwittingly putting themselves and their families in danger."    

On April 27, the public will have an opportunity to rid their homes of potentially-dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription and over-the-counter drugs, thereby helping to prevent pill abuse and theft. The public is encouraged to bring medications for disposal to the Alameda County Family Justice Center at 470 27th Street in Oakland. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked. 

Sandy Hook Promise


On March 14, 2013, representatives from the Alameda County DA's Office traveled across the bay to San Francisco to participate sit in on presentations and meetings at the Sandy Hook Promise Foundation. Founded in response to the deadly mass shooting that occurred on December 14, 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown Connecticut, Sandy Hook Promise is dedicated to honoring the lives lost on that fateful day, and to promoting "common sense solutions that will make our community and our country safer from similar acts of violence."  


To find out more about Sandy Hook Promise, please click here.

Alameda County DA Nancy O'Malley Receives 2013 Women Who Dare Award




On March 16, 2013, Nancy O'Malley was honored to receive the 2013 Women Who Dare AwardThe Women Who Dare Award is given out annual by Girls Incorporated of the Island City (Alameda) in recognition of women who are "breaking barriers in their service, occupation, or field and who inspire others to reach for equality and success." Other recipients of the 2013 Women Who Dare Award include Teri McKeever (Head Coach of Swimming and Diving for the UC Berkeley and 2012 Olympic teams), Shauna Rosenblum (Head Winemaker at Rock Wall Winery, Tram Huynh (Alameda Science and Technology Institute), Maraena Spencer Yochelson (NEA Community Learning Center), and Carmen Zheng (Oakland Technical High School). 


Local Focus: People v. Hunger


Each month the Alameda County DA's Office highlights an exciting piece of news from one of the local communities that make up Alameda County. This month's Local Focus: Alameda County Community Food Bank.

 The Alameda County Community Food Bank was established in 1985 "with a vision towards a day when [they] can go out of business." Serving an estimated 1 out of every 6 Alameda County residents, the Food Bank distributed over 20 million pounds of food in 2011 through the 275 non-profits that it partners with for distribution throughout the county. The Food Bank makes it a priority to provide nutritious foods to those in need, as well as information about healthy eating. Over half of the food that the Alameda County Community Food Bank distributes is fresh fruits and vegetables. 


On April 1, 2013, members of the Alameda County District Attorney's Office joined many others in an afternoon-long volunteering session at the Food Bank's main warehouse near the Oakland Airport for the annual People vs. Hunger Event. Because the event fell on Cesar Chavez Day, volunteers were regaled with a speech about the life and accomplishments of the famous labor activist before getting to work sorting and packaging cans for distribution. 


If you would like to volunteer at the Alameda County Community Food Bank, or learn more about their operations, visit their website at http://www.accfb.org.

Recent Verdicts  

For a full description of all felony and misdemeanor verdicts please visit our website.

Sexual Assault Awareness Month
Victims' Rights Week
FJC to Host Drug Take Back Event April 27
Sandy Hook Promise
DA O'Malley Receives Women Who Dare Award
Local Focus: People v. Hunger
Recent Verdicts

Quick Links

blue seal

Mission Statement

The Alameda County DA's Office is dedicated to serving our community through the ethical prosecution of criminal offenses and the vigorous protection of victims' rights.

Find us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter
Do you have a question for the District Attorney's Office?

The District Attorney's Office receives many calls and e-mails from the public asking a wide variety of questions. Please feel free to e-mail a question of your own that you would like to see answered here.

Featured Article
What action, if any, do you want your members to take? Add a "Find out more" link to additional information that you may have hosted on your website