Charleston Law Review – Symposium

The Charleston Law Review and the Riley Institute present the 13th Annual Law & Society Symposium

Sexual Abuse and Sex Trafficking:
Protecting Children, Supporting Victims, and Seeking Justice

This year’s symposium will bring together leading experts in law, medicine, academia, and advocacy to discuss the complexities and nuance of sexual abuse and exploitation law. Speakers and panelists will navigate new developments in the law, procedural issues in criminal and civil cases, as well as robust conversations related to advocacy, reformation, and legislative efforts at a national and state level.

Friday, February 5, 2021
8:30 am to 5:30 pm
Virtual Broadcast

Approved for 7.33 hours of CLE Credit


Questions? Email Jessica Carroll at

Add Law & Society Symposium to calendar

Apple   Google   Outlook













The Emergence of Children’s Civil Rights 

Ms. Hamilton is the Founder, CEO, and Legal Director of CHILD USA, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit academic think tank dedicated to interdisciplinary, evidence-based research to improve laws and public policy to end child abuse and neglect. She is also the Fels Institute of Government Professor of Practice and a Resident Senior Fellow in the Program for Research on Religion at the University of Pennsylvania. Before moving to Penn, Professor Hamilton held the Paul R. Verkuil Chair in Public Law at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University.

Prof. Hamilton is the leading expert on clergy sex abuse and child sex abuse statutes of limitation (“SOL”). She has been invited to testify and advise legislators in every state where significant SOL reform has occurred. She is the author of Justice Denied: What America Must Do to Protect Its Children (Cambridge University Press), which advocates for the elimination of child sex abuse statutes of limitations. She has filed countless pro bono amicus briefs for the protection of children at the United States Supreme Court and the state supreme courts. She is also the co-author of Children and the Law (Carolina Academic Press 2017).






Kristen M. Gibbons Feden, JD

Presenting: Criminal Justice in the #MeToo Era: The Cosby Prosecution

Kristen is widely regarded as one of the Nation’s leading litigators in the field of sexual abuse. She has proven herself to be fearless when fighting for survivors against high profile offenders and large institutions. Christened by the New York Times as “The Prosecutor Who Stared Down Bill Cosby,” Kristen is internationally recognized as a leading litigator in the #MeToo Movement. Nationally acclaimed as a fierce litigator, Kristen has represented numerous sexual abuse survivors in their pursuit of civil justice and received a multitude of awards for her tireless work with the most vulnerable survivors, many of whom were in their darkest moments when they sought her out.

Elizabeth J. Letourneau, PhD

Presenting: Juvenile Registration is a Failed Policy that Must Go

Dr. Elizabeth Letourneau is a Professor in the Department of Mental Health, and Director of the Moore Center for the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.  For more than 30 years, she has developed, evaluated, and implemented policies and practices that aim to prevent the onset of sexual offending.  Dr. Letourneau has led dozens of research projects resulting in more than 80 scientific publications.  These publications establish an empirical basis for perpetration prevention efforts that work.  In addition, Dr. Letourneau has helped develop and evaluate state and national sex crime policies.  Her research on juvenile sex offender registration established the inefficacy and harmfulness of such policies and was influential in several U.S. state supreme court cases and in U.S. state legislatures that revised their registration policies.  For this work, Dr. Letourneau was awarded the inaugural Faculty Practice Award in 2017 by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Check out her 2017 TED Talk


8:30 – 8:45   Symposium Opens



Presented by: Marci A. Hamilton

Not long ago, children were considered property, who belonged to their parents or guardians. They were owned labor and parental rights were unquestioned. Children have evolved into “persons” within the meaning of the Constitution. In her keynote address, Professor Hamilton will examine how the movement to end child sex abuse is further articulating the civil rights of children.


Farrell, Kroloff, and Wilson come together for an interactive discussion founded on survivorship and fortitude. These seasoned advocates and legislative veterans—including SC State Senator Marlon Kimpson as moderator—will examine the extreme grit necessary to take on deep-pocketed institutions through tales of their own experiences, and will lay the groundwork for how they were able to achieve legislative success to better support victims of sexual abuse.

Bridie Farrell

Bridie is a former Team U.S.A. Speedskater and a national leader for survivors of child sexual abuse and exploitation.

She founded America Loves Kids, a nonprofit that focuses on: educating the public about child sexual abuse; connecting survivors to resources, particularly legal counsel, to help them get the support they want; and, working with elected leaders to design law and policy that protects children, prevents, and seeks to eliminate abuse.

Noah Kroloff

Mr. Kroloff spent nearly two decades in public service, serving in leadership positions in state and federal government, including as Chief of Staff for Sec. Janet Napolitano and the US Department of Homeland Security. In that capacity, he oversaw 240,000 employees, a $60 billion budget, and 22 federal agencies. Mr. Kroloff is also a Senior Fellow and Lecturer at Yale’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, serves on the Board of Advisors for the Truman National Security Project, and on the Board of Directors for the Zero Abuse Project.

C.T. Wilson

Wilson is a veteran, former Assistant State’s Attorney, and has served as a Member of the MD House of Delegates since 2011.

Against stiff opposition from the Catholic church, Wilson sponsored a 2015 bill to increase the statute of limitations for child sexual abuse victims in MD.  The bill was signed into law in 2017. Wilson is a MD Foster Youth Resource Center board member, a National Eagle Scout Assoc. member, and author of 10,000 Hills: A Little Boy’s Journey.


Revising statute of limitations provides an opportunity for survivors to pursue justice where they may have otherwise been precluded from doing so, and creates legislative guidelines more in line with the harms caused by abuse moving forward. Patrick J. Wall, Edward Lindsey, Esq., and Daniel Lapinski, Esq. will discuss Statute of Limitations provisions as it relates specifically to the Catholic Church, the decades of covering up systemic abuse that not only intimidated victims from coming forward but facilitated the erosion of valuable evidence applicable to survivor claims. The Panel will also balance the victims’ interests in Statute of Limitations reform with the rights and protections afforded to Defendants by the Due Process Clause.

Patrick J. Wall

Mr. Wall began his career as a monk and Roman Catholic priest. From 1986-1998 he worked in four parishes in the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis. Since 1998, Wall has worked with prosecutors and law firms around the country on behalf of survivors of sexual abuse. Today, Patrick is a lead researcher for Jeff Anderson and Associates, and is a world-renowned author/lecturer on the history of child abuse and cover-up in institutional organizations. Wall co-authored the book “Sex, Priests, and Secret Codes” with Thomas Doyle O.P. and A.W. Richard Sipe.

Edward H. Lindsey Jr.

Mr. Lindsey has more than 32 years of legal, political, and leadership experience, including 10 years as a Georgia state representative and 3 terms as the House majority whip. As a Representative, Lindsey sponsored 36 bills which became law.

Today, Lindsey is a partner in Dentons’ Public Policy practice where he serves as the head of the firm’s Georgia State Government Affairs team. Prior to joining Dentons in 2016, Edward was a partner and head of the litigation practice at Goodman McGuffey Lindsey & Johnson LLP, a firm he cofounded in 1990.

Daniel R. Lapinski

Daniel Lapinski has nearly 20 years of litigation experience, with a focus on mass tort litigation and complex consumer actions in state, federal and appellate courts.

Dan represents victims of childhood sexual abuse in civil court under “window” laws newly enacted in many states. Dan also represents former Boy Scouts who suffered abuse with claims against the Boy Scouts of America bankruptcy. Dan frequently speaks on a local and national level regarding mass tort and class action litigations


Presented by: Kristen M. Gibbons Feden

Distinguished Speaker, Kristen M. Gibbons Feden, JD, will speak on her involvement in the first high-profile sexual assault prosecution in the #MeToo era which spanned more than three years from the re-opening of the investigation to sentencing including two trials, scores of motions and hearings, and nearly two dozen defense attorneys on the other side. Ms. Feden’s case study will focus on some of the most impactful decisions made in the Cosby case and its challenges. Her examination of this complex prosecution has special meaning in a world where powerful men are finally being held to account for what is often years or decades of sexual abuse. This case study will draw parallels between similar cases involving disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein and music artist R. Kelly, and will give the audience an understanding of what to expect and how traditional roadblocks in such cases may be avoided. The case study will be dynamic and interactive and encourage listener engagement throughout.


Patricia Dailey Lewis, Esq., Katelyn Brewer, and Ryan T. Shields, M.S., Ph.D. will discuss the missions of the Beau Biden Foundation and Darkness to Light and their approaches to preventing the sexual abuse of children. This panel will include case studies as well as discussions of the proactive social behavior change approach to prevention of abuse, the public health approach to child sexual abuse prevention, and the basic conceptual framework, current and emerging programs aimed at preventing child sexual abuse, and recommendations for future prevention efforts.

Katelyn N. Brewer

As President & CEO of Darkness to Light, the nation’s leading advocate for the prevention of child sexual abuse, Katelyn’s expertise in transforming organizational cultures, achieving programmatic scale, and implementing behavior change communication lends invaluable insight to the larger conversation of child protection as a collective adult responsibility. Katelyn’s leadership has resulted in exponential growth in programmatic reach and standing atop the space of child safety. Through education, advocacy, and research, Darkness to Light continues to revolutionize the way society keeps children safe from abuse.

Patricia Dailey Lewis

Executive Director of the Beau Biden Foundation for the Protection of Children®. An attorney for more than 30 years, Mrs. Lewis was previously Deputy Attorney General with the Delaware Dept. of Justice and, until her retirement in 2015, served as the Director of the Family Division. The Family Division was created by Attorney General Beau Biden in 2007 to better respond to the needs of children in the justice system. Mrs. Lewis has received many honors including the Beau Biden Legacy Award, the Champion of Children Award from Prevent Child Abuse Delaware, and the Outstanding Family Advocacy Award from Children and Families First.

Ryan T. Shields

Assistant Professor, School of Criminology & Justice Studies, University of Massachusetts Lowell. Professor Shields received his PhD in Criminology and Criminal Justice from Florida State University. Ryan’s research and professional expertise focus on sexual violence, violence prevention, child sexual abuse prevention, and punishment. Ryan has authored or co-authored more than thirty publications on these topics, including the following publications this past year (2020):  Perpetration Prevention StrategiesYouth-focused Child Sexual Abuse-Perpetration Prevention Strategies, and The gender gap in sex offender punishment.


Presented by: Elizabeth J. Letourneau

Throughout her more than 30 years of research and scholarship, Dr. Elizabeth Letourneau has developed, evaluated, and implemented policies and practices that aim to prevent the onset of sexual offending, establishing an empirical basis for perpetration prevention efforts that work. Here, Dr. Letourneau will focus on her research on juvenile sex offender registration which established the inefficacy and harmfulness of such policies, and was influential in several U.S. state supreme court cases and in U.S. state legislatures that revised their registration policies.  For this work, Dr. Letourneau was awarded the inaugural Faculty Practice Award in 2017 by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.


In 1985, the nation’s first Child Advocacy Center was created by a district attorney who observed that the social service and criminal justice systems often failed to coordinate their responses to child maltreatment cases, leaving victims in want of basic services and forced to repeat stressful and emotionally painful interactions with system officials. Rachel Garrett, LMSW, Emma Hetherington, Esq., and Jennifer G. Long, MGA, JD will discuss the role of Child Advocacy Centers today as well as the revolutionary work being done at Aequitas and the Wilbanks C.E.A.S.E. Clinic at University of Georgia School of Law, to train prosecutors’ offices around the nation and to prepare future attorneys to advocate for survivors in a variety of civil and criminal legal proceedings.

Emma M. Hetherington

Assistant Professor and Director, Wilbanks Child Endangerment and Sexual Exploitation  (CEASE) Clinic at the University of Georgia School of Law.

The CEASE Clinic, the first of its kind in the nation, is dedicated to legal representation and advocacy for survivors of child sexual abuse in civil litigation and juvenile court dependency proceedings. Hetherington was charged with the creation of the clinic in January 2016 with funding provided by School of Law alumnus Marlan Wilbanks. The clinic has served over 100 survivors of child sexual abuse since opening and continues to grow under Hetherington’s leadership

Jennifer G. Long

Jennifer currently serves as CEO of AEquitas, which she co-founded in 2009, and serves as an expert on issues related to the prosecution of sexual violence and gender-based violence and human trafficking. Jennifer is also an Adjunct professor at Georgetown Law, where she teaches Prosecuting Sexual Violence: From Research to Practice. Formerly as an Asst. District Attorney in Philadelphia, Jennifer prosecuted abuse cases and served on a team in the Family Violence and Sexual Assault Unit. Jennifer was a Senior Attorney and then was appointed the Director of the National Center for the Prosecution of Violence Against Women at the American Prosecutors Research Institute at NDAA.

Rachael Garrett

Rachel is Director of Community Programs at Dee Norton Child Advocacy Center. Children’s Advocacy Centers (CACs) are a national model for the multidisciplinary, collaborative response for children when there is a concern for abuse.

Dee Norton offers abuse and trauma related services free of charge to Children and families in the Charleston area. Those services include: forensic interviews, mental health assessments, therapy services, parental assessments, multidisciplinary case coordination, and advocacy. Dee Norton also provides training on how to recognize child abuse and child trafficking.


What would happen if America decriminalized prostitution? It is difficult to answer this question definitively, but by now there has been a lot of empirical research on how decriminalization has worked in other countries and some places in the US. Additionally, why are so few civil cases being pursued despite the enhanced protections afforded to sex trafficking victims under modern State and Federal laws? Melissa Sontag Broudo, Esq., Jodi Westbrook Flowers, Esq., and Jamie Rosseland will explore these questions including their assessment of why both of these large fringe efforts aimed at undermining the prevalence of sex trafficking —decriminalizing prostitution and civil litigation—remain largely stalled.

Jamie Rosseland

Rosseland is an anti-trafficking consultant with expertise in coordination of care and program development for survivors, and in development and implementation of trauma-competent marketing strategies. Jamie serves on the FL Dept. of Juvenile Justice’s State Advisory Group and works with the United Nations University on policies regarding the intersection of international justice systems and human trafficking. Jamie was accepted into FSU’s 2021 Social Scholar Program, where she will earn her degree in interdisciplinary social sciences.

In 2018, Jamie won the Survivor Advocate of the Year award presented by the Florida Attorney General for her work with exploited youth.

Melissa Sontag Broudo

Melissa is the co-director of the Sharmus Outlaw Advocacy and Rights (SOAR) Institute and legal director of Decriminalize Sex Work – an organization pursuing to end the prohibition of consensual adult prostitution. Melissa has been part of the sex workers’ rights and harm reduction movements for 15 years. Previously, she was a Senior Staff Attorney at the Sex Workers Project (SWP) for 7 years. Melissa won the first-ever vacatur motion for a survivor of human trafficking and provided technical expertise on these critical motions.

Ms. Broudo received her B.A. from Brown, her M.P.H. from Johns Hopkins, and her J.D. from Georgetown.

Jodi Westbrook Flowers

Member Attorney and Lead of the Antiterrorism and Human Rights Practice Group at Motley Rice. A veteran of the courtroom, Jodi has litigated a wide range of cases involving tobacco, asbestos, lead pigment, aviation disasters, consumer fraud, cybersecurity and product defects, as well as terrorist financing and human rights violations.

Motley Rice believes that corporations have a legal responsibility to actively protect at-risk laborers and trafficking victims. When corporations enable traffickers to violate human rights for illegal gains, the civil court system can rightly intervene, providing access to justice for victims.


Kathryn A Moorehead, M.Ed., Brooke Burris, Esq., Judge Michèle Forsythe, and moderator Pamela Larson, Esq. will discuss efforts being taken by the Human Trafficking Taskforce at the State Attorney General’s office, the Tri-county Human Trafficking Taskforce, and the South Carolina Judiciary towards prevention, early identification of potential victims of exploitation, prosecuting offenders, and support for survivors.

Kathryn A. Moorehead

Kathryn is the Director of Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and Human Trafficking Programs at the South Carolina Office of the Attorney General, and also the Coordinator of the South Carolina Human Trafficking Task Force.

Ms. Moorehead brings over 20 years of experience in the fields of education, social work, advocacy, and public health. Prior to the Attorney General’s Office, Kathryn was the Director for an international counter-trafficking NGO overseeing their operations in Cambodia.

Brooke M. Burris

Brooke is an attorney and the Founder & Chair of the Tri-County Human Trafficking Task Force. Established in 2018, the Task Force works to bring entities together in a collaborative response to human trafficking issues.

Previously, Brooke worked as the East Coast Director of the Lynch Foundation for Children where she focused on developing effective anti-child sex trafficking policy and legislative implementation. Brooke earned her law degree at the University of South Carolina School of Law.

The Honorable Michèle Patrão Forsythe

Judge Forsythe is a family court judge for the Ninth Judicial Circuit in South Carolina. In 2018, she participated in the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judge’s National Judicial Institute on Domestic Child Sex Trafficking alongside judges from 19 states. Following the institute, she and others published a set of 12 Lessons Learned and Considerations to better equip S.C.’s judiciary to respond to the growing challenge human trafficking presents.  Judge Forsythe graciously donates her spare time traveling the state training various stakeholders on their roles in addressing trafficking.


Veterans in bringing perpetrators of trafficking to Justice in South Carolina, Detective Charlie Benton and attorneys Matt Austin and Jamie Schoen will provide case studies and trends they have observed in their efforts at the local and federal level to combat the trafficking industry, prosecute offenders, and rescue and support victims of the trafficking industry.

Marshall (Matt) T. Austin

Matt Austin recently accepted a position with with Nelson Mullins, a national civil defense firm and lobby group headquartered in Columbia, SC. Matt will work out of the firm’s Charleston office where he will focus on healthcare and white collar litigation. Prior to joining Nelson Mullins’s Charleston office, Austin was an Assistant United States Attorney working out of their Charleston Office. As a federal prosecutor, he has successfully prosecuted individuals and groups of individuals involved in human trafficking in South Carolina. Before joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Matt spent three years as a state prosecutor in the First Circuit Solicitor’s Office and two years working in civil litigation. After graduating from the Charleston School of Law, he co-founded a health care startup and received his MHA from the Medical University of South Carolina.

Charlie Benton, Jr

Charlie is a detective with the North Charleston Police Department and founded the department’s Human Trafficking Unit.  He is presently assigned as a taskforce officer with the ATF’s violent crimes task force. In 2017 he earned the U.S. Attorney’s Award for his work in bringing down a 10-defendant trafficking conspiracy that operated in 11 states and involved over 100 victims. Charlie earned his Master’s in Criminal Justice from Charleston Southern where he was inducted into Alpha Phi Sigma, a national criminal justice honor society. He previously served as Chairman of the Board for Doors to Freedom, a non-profit that provides comprehensive services to trafficking victims. Charlie also previously served as a law enforcement representative on the Lowcountry Children Center’s Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC) Workgroup.

Jamie Lea  Schoen

Assistant U.S. Attorney assigned to the Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force, and the designated point of contact for human trafficking matters in the Charleston area. In addition to her efforts prosecuting human trafficking cases, Schoen provides training on human trafficking to law enforcement, schools, and attorneys. Schoen graduated magna cum laude from Furman University and received her J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law. Prior to working as a prosecutor, Schoen served as a law clerk to the Hon. David C. Norton. She has also received several honors including the 2020 Young Federal Lawyer Award from the Federal Bar, the 2017 ATF Honor Award for prosecutions of violent firearm offenders, and the Ilene and Michael Shaw Federal Bar Association Young Lawyer Public Service Award in 2016.

Join the Fight to End Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation

$1, $5, $20, OR become an event sponsor!

Read more