|For Immediate Release
April 20, 2010
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
400 MARCH TO HONOR VICTIMS AND SURVIVORS
AT OCDA’S 2ND ANNUAL VICTIMS’ RIGHTS
MARCH AND RALLY
SANTA ANA – Approximately 400 people marched through Santa Ana today in remembrance of murdered victims, in celebration of surviving victims, and in honor of victims’ rights at the Orange County District Attorney’s (OCDA) 2nd Annual Victims’ Rights March and Rally.
“I am so honored to be among friends to remember those we have lost, honor those who have survived, and celebrate the tenacity and strength of the people who carry on the fight for justice,” stated Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas.
Following a welcome reception at the District Attorney’s Office, approximately 400 people marched to the Old Orange County Courthouse in Santa Ana. The Santa Ana Police Department Honor Guard presented the Colors and attended the memorial wreath, at the foot of which victims, family, friends, law enforcement, and community leaders laid flowers to honor and celebrate the lives of murdered and surviving victims.
The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Fountain Valley Police Chief and President of the Orange County Police Chiefs’ and Sheriff’s Association Paul Sorrell. A dove release followed the moment of silence, which was led by Costa Mesa Police Officer Eugene Kim, whose father was murdered by a drunken wrong-way freeway driver in 2000.
District Attorney Rackauckas addressed the attendees and then introduced the two victim speakers, Ryan Hawks and Chimine Arfuso. Ryan Hawks is the son of Thomas and Jackie Hawks, who were murdered for financial gain on their yacht off Newport Beach in 2004. Ryan Hawks is Co-Chair of California Force 100 and represented his parents through three jury trials against five defendants. Chimine Arfuso was the last of eight young women to be raped by a serial rapist, who terrorized the community between June 1998 and January 1999. Chemine Arfuso refuses to be labeled as a victim and has emerged as a victim advocate through her work as Co-Founder of Create Social Change and Chairwoman of Turning Negative Into Positive.
The Orange County Victims’ Rights March and Rally was established in 2009, after almost two decades of legal efforts to secure the rights of crime victims. In 1990, Proposition 115 increased defendant sentences and decreased the number of times a victim had to testify. In 1996, Megan’s Law required sex offender registration and gave parents and the community access to sex offender residence addresses in their neighborhoods. In 2000, Proposition 21 increased the punishments for serious and dangerous gang crimes. In 2004, Proposition 69 required felony arrestees to submit a DNA sample and Proposition 66, which would have allowed the release of dangerous third-strikers, was defeated. In 2006, Proposition 83, or Jessica’s Law, instituted mandatory 15 years to life sentences for certain serious sex offenses against children.