Office of the DeKalb County District Attorney
Stone Mountain Judicial Circuit
Sherry Boston, District Attorney
February 2018
Special Edition
The Boston Report
 Reflecting, Restructuring, and Redefining Prosecution

We are ready to embrace the challenges of this new year while simultaneously reflecting on the accomplishments of the past year- my first as District Attorney! What a pleasure it is to serve.

I campaigned on the promise of a "New DAy" for DeKalb County. More than a slogan, it was a foundational philosophy for the way in which I planned to conduct business and serve the citizens and victims for whom we advocate.

My work began with assembling a phenomenal executive team to work with me on creating our prosecution structure and establishing short and long-term goals. We have restructured some processes and redefined others, to include the development of new units and the consolidation of others. We also increased our capacity to serve victims.

We have had a number of successes in the courtroom and have proudly impacted the community in a powerful way through our ongoing awareness and outreach initiatives.

In both local and national circles, our team has been invited to share our expertise as subject-matter experts on topics ranging from domestic violence to human trafficking and elder exploitation. We have also been recognized as leaders in the "progressive prosecution" movement, an approach that seeks to strike a balance between incarceration and prevention/intervention measures, as appropriate.

I am pleased to present the following overview of our office and outline some of our first-year accomplishments.

We hope our efforts will make you proud as we continue to strive for excellence!

District Attorney
Stone Mountain Judicial Circuit
Executive Leadership Team
Along with District Attorney Sherry Boston, the Executive Leadership Team consists of two Chief Assistant District Attorneys,
Jenni Stolarski and Pete Johnson, and a Chief Investigator, Alan Traylor.

Pete Johnson oversees a team of supervisors who lead the Appellate, Juvenile, and Trial Divisions, the Anti-Corruption and Major Case Units, and Grand Jury and Magistrate Court operations. Johnson is a veteran attorney with 20 years of experience in prosecution and criminal litigation. He has handled a variety of cases ranging from drugs and murder to complex death penalty prosecution matters.

Jenni Stolarski leads a team of supervisors who manage the Special Victims Division, the Victim-Witness Advocate Program, Crime Strategies and Community Outreach initiatives, Diversion and Community Alternatives, and Grants Development. Ms. Stolarski also manages administrative operations. For 19 years, Ms. Stolarski has practiced law as a prosecutor in DeKalb County and as a civil attorney representing low-income survivors of intimate partner violence. She is the co-founder of the Safe Families Office with the Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation and the former Chief Assistant Solicitor-General of the DeKalb County Solicitor-General’s Office.

Alan Traylor heads all investigative operations with assistance from a team of supervisors who manage investigative and paralegal teams assigned to various prosecution divisions and collaborative law enforcement operations. Chief Traylor also oversees the Records and Intake Department. He has dedicated his 25 year law enforcement career to serving the citizens of DeKalb County, escalating through the ranks from police officer, to detective, to district attorney investigator, and ultimately as Chief Investigator for the DeKalb County Solicitor-General's Office prior to his current position.

The Executive Team works collaboratively to shape policy, implement protocols, and guide the overall direction of Office operations in order to execute District Attorney Boston's prosecutorial vision.
Pete Johnson
Chief Assistant District
Jenni Stolarski
Chief Assistant District Attorney
Alan Traylor, MBA
Chief Investigator
General Counsel
Rupal Vaishnav serves as General Counsel for the Office of the DeKalb County District Attorney. The position was created by District Attorney Boston to ensure fiscal responsibility and public transparency in Office operations.

With a background in both prosecution and complex civil law, Vaishnav is tasked with ensuring compliance with all applicable civil laws that govern the operation of the Office including, but not limited to, managing civil discovery, personnel issues, open records, and federal and state civil asset forfeiture guidelines.

Vaishnav also advises the District Attorney and her leadership team on effective strategies and policies governing the Office and its personnel. He also oversees Child Support and Recovery (UIFSA) operations.

Finally, Vaishnav is directly involved in negotiating contracts and transactions that impact the operation of the Office including overseeing the effective, efficient, and ethical use of capital assets. 
2017 At-A-Glance
  • 100+ Jury Trials
  • 2,000+ Indictments
  • 45,000+ Victim Services
  • 7,000+ Community Interactions
  • Doubled Victim Advocate Staff from 9 to 18
  • Increased Diversion Admission Ten-fold
  • Cleared Backlog of 1,400 Record Restriction Applications
 District Attorney Boston has been an active participant in the national dialogue surrounding "smart justice" and progressive prosecution.

Throughout the year, DA Boston has teamed with prosecution counterparts throughout the country who share a new and inspired vision for criminal justice reform that includes innovation in prosecution and smart justice strategies.

This philosophy centers upon a holistic approach to prosecution which includes evaluating cases in a comprehensive manner to determine root causes of criminal activity, employing incarceration alternatives when appropriate, and reserving the harshest sentences for violent offenders.

This type of prosecutorial discretion is at the center of criminal justice reform, which observers such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), have applauded.

The ACLU, in fact, cited DA Boston in its national video, Guess Who's the Most Powerful Person in the Justice System, highlighting the power of local prosecutors to effectuate criminal justice reform.
Our Teams
The Office of the DeKalb District Attorney is comprised of the following departments, divisions, and units.

  • Communications
  • Grants
  • Operations and Human Resources

  • Cyber Investigations and Internet Technology
  • Paralegals
  • Records and Intake

  • Anti-Corruption Unit
  • Appeals
  • Child Support Recovery (UIFSA)
  • Crime Strategies and Community Partnerships
  • Diversion and Community Alternatives
  • Grand Jury
  • Juvenile Division
  • Magistrate Court
  • Major Case
  • Special Victims: Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault; Sexual Exploitation and Crimes Against Children; Elder Abuse and Exploitation
  • Trial Division
Operations, Communications, and Grants
Deputy Chief Investigators
Cyber Investigations and Internet Technology
Trial Investigators & Paralegals
Records & Intake
Grand Jury & Magistrate Court
Juvenile Division
Trial Division
The Trial Division is responsible for prosecuting the majority of felony criminal cases filed in DeKalb County. Staff is divided into 10 teams — one assigned to each Superior Court Judge. Each team consists of two attorneys, an investigator, a legal assistant, a paralegal, and a victim advocate.

Trial Division attorneys prosecute felonies ranging from theft by shoplifting to armed robbery and murder. Prosecutors assigned to this Division handle a variety of court proceedings including arraignment, trial, bond, and probation revocation hearings. The Division is managed by Deputy Chief Assistant District Attorneys Steve Ruth and Roderick Wilkerson.
Trial Divisions 1, 2, 3, 6, 8
Trial Divisions 4, 5, 7, 9, 10
Trial Assistants
New and Restructured Units
Led by General Counsel and Deputy Chief Assistant District Attorney Rupal Vaishnav, the Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) investigates allegations of wrong-doing against individuals who hold positions of public trust, whether in an elected or non-elected capacity.

Additionally, the Unit prosecutes individuals who use fraudulent business practices or a position of authority to deceive citizens and illegally obtain money through complex financial schemes. Losses associated with these crimes generally exceed $100,000. Potential charges include violation of oath of office, false statements, forgery, mortgage and other types of fraud, and embezzlement.

The Unit is comprised of experienced attorneys, investigators, and paralegals who have extensive knowledge in handling multi-faceted criminal and civil cases.
Child Support and Recovery (UIFSA)
In 2017, DA Boston revamped the Child Support Recovery (UIFSA) Division and added a Deputy Chief Assistant District Attorney position to oversee daily operations.

Led by Deputy Chief ADA Kamilah Miller, UIFSA establishes, enforces and modifies interstate child support orders that benefit children living in DeKalb County. Specifically, this unit assists DeKalb County custodial parents who have a non-custodial/absent parent living in another state with a duty to provide support or a court-ordered child support obligation. 

Similarly, UIFSA receives petitions from custodial parents living in another state with a non-custodial/absent parent living in DeKalb County. Using the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA) as a guideline, the Division establishes and modifies support orders as well as uses incentives and penalties to encourage delinquent parents to pay court-ordered child support.
UIFSA collected $15,502,090 in Federal Fiscal Year 2017, making it the top contract office for UIFSA support collections statewide.
Crime Strategies and Community Partnerships
The Crime Strategies and Community Partnerships Unit (CS/CPU) is one of the Office's newest Units.

Inspired by similar programs in other major metropolitan areas, including Manhattan, San Francisco, St. Louis, and Baton Rouge, CS/CPU's mission is to increase public safety through enhanced prosecutorial decision-making by using a data-driven approach to resourcefully address chronic crime. With this new approach, the CS/CPU is a logical enhancement and extension of the earlier Community Prosecution model and principles dating back to the late 1980's.
CS/CPU consists of a multi-disciplinary team of Assistant District Attorneys, analysts, and investigators who collect, analyze, process, and share data to identify crime trends, criminal activity, and priority offenders in the community. Through use of this collected data, the CS/CPU develops and implements intelligence-driven prosecution strategies that provide long-lasting solutions to the County’s major crime issues.

CS/CPU is also tasked with building and maintaining relationships with key community partners, including a variety of government agencies, law enforcement agencies, and community-based groups. The Unit also oversees and administers the District Attorney's community outreach, education, and training programs.

The Unit is led by Director of Community Affairs, Sonja Brown.
Diversion and Community Alternatives Program
The Diversion and Community Alternatives Program (DCAP) is a new special unit focused on treatment and alternatives to prosecution. Attorneys within this Unit work in tandem with Accountability Courts – Drug Court, Mental Health Court, and Veterans Court– and other pretrial diversion programs.

Pretrial Diversion is a smart alternative to the traditional criminal justice process and is available to many first-time offenders charged with certain nonviolent crimes. Participants in Pretrial Diversion complete conditions that are tailored to their particular criminal charges. Those conditions may include restitution to victims, counseling, classes, and community service. Participants who complete the program receive a dismissal of charges and record restriction (formerly known as expungement).

Honoring the Crime Victims' Bill of Rights is important in the criminal justice process.
The Unit asks for victims’ opinions prior to any offer of diversion. Making things right, financially compensating victims, and repaying the community are essential components of participation in the program.

Pretrial Diversion also saves DeKalb County resources by decreasing the number of cases on traditional court dockets. Criminal justice costs are cut by reducing the need for jurors, witnesses, off-duty officers, court reporters, and other courtroom personnel. 

The Unit is led by Deputy Chief Assistant District Attorney Lisa Moultrie.
Major Case
The Major Case Unit is the first of its kind for the DeKalb County District Attorney's Office.

Led by Director Lance Cross, the Unit is comprised of experienced prosecutors, investigators, and support staff who are tasked with handling some of the Office's most complex cases. 

Chief among the Unit's duties is the evaluation and preparation of all homicide cases forwarded by law enforcement agencies for indictment and subsequent prosecution by Trial Division teams. However, if a homicide is deemed to be complex, members of the Major Case Unit manage the case from investigation through prosecution as part of a strategy known as vertical prosecution.

In addition to homicides, the Major Case Unit handles multi-faceted gang-related cases including those associated with armed robberies, narcotics activity, and homicides.

The Major Case Unit is also responsible for handling cases developed by the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HITDA) Task Force members in DeKalb County. These cases are typically complex in nature and involve large quantities of illegal drugs being distributed by organized, national, and international crime organizations.
Special Victims Division
The Special Victims Division was created under the leadership of District Attorney Boston to identify, track, and prosecute cases involving vulnerable populations.

The Division is comprised of three units: Elder Abuse and Exploitation; Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (DV/SA); and Sexual Exploitation and Crimes Against Children (SECAC), the latter of which was formed in 2017 after merging the former Anti-Human Trafficking and Crimes Against Children Units.

Personnel assigned to this Division are equipped with specialized skills and training required to handle the often sensitive and complex nature of cases assigned to their respective units.

The Division is managed by Director Daysha Young.
Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault

The Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Unit prosecutes felony cases involving intimate partner violence and adult sexual assault.

Under the direction of Deputy Chief Assistant District Attorney Yolanda Mack, the Unit works closely with local law enforcement agencies to ensure the proper evaluation and investigation of these sensitive cases.

The Unit also trains law enforcement representatives, medical personnel, and crisis counselors in the areas of domestic violence, sexual assault, and related legislation.
Elder Abuse & Exploitation

The Elder Exploitation Unit prosecutes persons who exploit, abuse or neglect elder persons (65 years of age or older) and disabled adults. 

The Unit works closely with service agencies and law enforcement to identify victims in the community and in long-term care facilities. The majority of the cases involve financial exploitation of vulnerable adults through telephone and online scams, by professional caregivers, or by family members. 

The DeKalb County District Attorney’s Office was one of the first prosecutors’ offices in Georgia to address crimes against vulnerable adults with a dedicated Elder Exploitation Unit. 

Members of the team work in the community to educate elder persons about scams and to train law enforcement officers, bank personnel, and court personnel about elder abuse laws.

The Unit is led by Deputy Chief Assistant District Attorney Jeanne Canavan.
Sexual Exploitation and Crimes Against Children

The DeKalb County District Attorney’s Office is committed to protecting children by aggressively prosecuting offenders who prey upon the community's youngest citizens.

The Sexual Exploitation and Crimes Against Children (SECAC) Unit handles cases in which children have been victims of physical and/or sexual abuse, neglect, or death, in addition to human trafficking and child sexual exploitation crimes.

SECAC employees are on-call 24 hours a day and seven days a week to assist law enforcement. Unit attorneys conduct training seminars for law enforcement agencies and participate in a variety of community education platforms.

SECAC employees are leaders and members of organizations and task forces that advance their abilities to protect children.

The Unit is led by Deputy Chief Assistant District Attorney Dalia Racine.
Victim-Witness Assistance Program
Victim Advocacy is at the core of the Office's prosecution mandate. Additionally, it is a primary focus and commitment for District Attorney Boston.

Under the leadership of Director Chastity Rogers, Victim-Witness Advocates provide guidance, support, information and crisis counseling to victims of crime throughout the criminal justice process. Advocates
make referrals to community partners and provide notification of a variety of court proceedings. Victim-Witness personnel ensure that crime victims understand their rights as outlined in the Crime Victims' Bill of Rights and assist with obtaining appropriate restitution or compensation through the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, when applicable.

Through grant funding, the DeKalb County District Attorney's Office increased its capacity to serve victims by doubling the number of advocates within the past year. The Unit provided more than 45,000 victim services in its first year under DA Boston's administration.