Contact: Gina Lauterio
Telephone: 301-801-0608

How ‘Victim-Centered’ Investigations Undermine the Presumption of Innocence and Victimize the Innocent: Upcoming Teleconference

WASHINGTON / September 19, 2016 – The Center for Prosecutor Integrity will be hosting a national teleconference on the topic, “How ‘Victim-Centered’ Investigations Undermine the Presumption of Innocence and Victimize the Innocent.” The event will address how “victim-centered” investigations remove the presumption of innocence and greatly increase the risk of a wrongful conviction. Wrongful Conviction Day is October 4, and the teleconference will be held that date at 1:00 to 4:00pm, Eastern time.

Codes of ethics consistently call on investigators to conduct their work in impartial, neutral, and honest manner: In contrast, victim-centered investigations are based on the assumption of “always believe the victim.”

The teleconference will address victim-centered investigations in the criminal justice setting and on college campuses. The Forum will consist of presentations by leading investigators, attorneys, and other experts:

  • Cynthia Garrett, Welcome and Introduction
  • Christopher Perry: What is the Problem with Victim-Centered Investigations?
  • Joseph Roberts: I Was a Victim of a “Victim-Centered” Investigation
  • Jerry Rogoff: The Psychological Effects on Persons Wrongfully Found Guilty of Sexual Misconduct
  • Carolyn Martin: My Lawsuit to End Investigative Bias at the Department of the Navy
  • Claudia Whitman: How to Botch a Criminal Investigation in Ten Easy Steps
  • Michael Conzachi: University of Texas Blueprint for Injustice

Harvard Law School professor Jeannie Suk describes the always-believe-the-victim approach as a “near-religious teaching” that is likely to harm rape victims: “When the core belief is that accusers never lie, if any one accuser has lied, it brings into question the stability of the entire thought system, rendering uncertain all allegations of sexual assault.”

The teleconference will be free of charge. Dial-in information is available here: