Attorney General Pam Bondi and Governor Rick Scott today awarded first responders and victim advocates for exceptional efforts in protecting and counseling victims. Attorney General Bondi presented the awards at an annual ceremony commemorating National Crime Victims’ Rights Week at the state Capitol. This year’s theme, Strength, Resilience, and Justice, highlights the importance of forging healthy, sustainable communities to build capacity both before and in the aftermath of crime.
“I am thankful for all who dedicate their lives to serving victims of crime, including those who rushed to the scene of tragedy following the Pulse nightclub attack—we honored some of those individuals today for their work helping victims and their families in the aftermath of the attack,” said Attorney General Bondi. “All our award recipients are exceptional and play a vital role in helping victims heal and I am eternally grateful for their service.”
The award recipients honored today are the following:
- Jeri Eubanks, victim advocate with the State Attorney’s Office in the Seventh Judicial Circuit;
- Stephanie Marino with Christ Church of Orlando;
- Joel Morales, victim service advocate with the Orlando United Assistance Center;
- Detective Yulieth Ortiz with the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office;
- Detective Ross Partee with the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office;
- Leidy Patino, Senior Legal Assistant with the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit; and
- Officer David Starke with the Ormond Beach Police Department.
The Florida Crime Victims’ Bill of Rights states, “Victims of crime or their lawful representatives, including the next of kin of homicide victims, are entitled to the right to be informed, to be present, and to be heard when relevant, at all crucial stages of criminal proceedings, to the extent that these rights do not interfere with the constitutional rights of the accused.”
To watch the full ceremony on The Florida Channel, click here.
For more information on crime victim services offered by the Florida Attorney General’s Office, click here.
For more information on National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, click here.