Krell criticizes DA on human trafficking

Published: Wednesday, Mar. 26, 2014 - 8:35 pm

Maggy Krell on Wednesday criticized the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office she is vying to run, saying that it has been too lax in its approach to human trafficking.

Krell is facing Deputy District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert and former Deputy District Attorney Todd Leras in the June 3 primary for Sacramento County DA. They are seeking to replace Jan Scully, who has held the top post for 20 years.

Krell has been running as an alternative to Scully’s policies, and she said that Schubert would continue in her boss’s footsteps. Schubert, who has received Scully’s endorsement, said she is proud of the office’s record.

Krell coordinates statewide anti-trafficking efforts in the office of the attorney general and said Scully’s office too often prosecutes people who are trafficking victims and forced into prostitution. She said she would take a more comprehensive approach if elected district attorney, bringing in various advocacy groups and social service providers to help get at the root of the problem.

She pointed to a program in Alameda County where officials provide an array of social services to sex-trade victims and focus prosecution on those who forced them to work as prostitutes.

“It’s a huge problem, and it’s one with too many kids falling through the cracks,” Krell said during a news conference. “The county needs to do a better job.”

Both Schubert and Scully defend the office’s handling of human trafficking.

“She’s either misrepresenting the office or is ignorant of what the office does,” Scully said of Krell. “We are far ahead of a lot of district attorney’s offices in this state on this issue.”

Scully said her office generally does not prosecute juveniles for prostitution, contrary to Krell’s claims.

Scully said she has one prosecutor dedicated to human trafficking, working in the office’s domestic abuse unit. She said the office works with a number of law enforcement and social service agencies and tries to look beyond the crime of prostitution and at its causes.

Two advocates at Krell’s news conference said the county needs to do more to address human trafficking. Leah Albright-Byrd, executive director of Bridget’s Dream, and Peggy Fava of the Bridge-Network said they think Krell would work more effectively with them.

According to campaign finance reports filed this week, Schubert and Krell each raised about $85,000, while Leras raised $8,000, from Jan. 1 through March 17.

Krell’s campaign has $215,000 in the bank. Her campaign received its biggest boost from “Daniel D. Crowley and affiliated entities” with a $30,000 contribution last quarter, and also picked up financial support from labor groups and various attorneys.

Crowley founded Dynamic Healthcare Solutions and a charity that helps at-risk children.

Schubert has about half as much money in the bank as Krell because she has spent more on signs and other campaign costs so far. Her campaign received financial support from a number of attorneys, prosecutor associations and business and real estate interests.

Call The Bee’s Brad Branan, (916) 321-1065. Follow him on Twitter @BradB_at_SacBee.

Read more articles by Brad Branan

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