District Attorney Joyce Dudley and the District Attorney’s Office will commemorate our nation’s progress in advancing victims’ rights by honoring four outstanding citizens: a Victim of Crime, Cora Boden; a Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department Detective, Ray Gamboa; and, Good Samaritans, Nick McGilvray and William Barbaree.
The Citizen of Courage Award will be presented to Cora Boden. Cora endured years of abuse and yet has transformed her life and found the strength to provide support and outreach to other vulnerable victims of crime.
The Victim Service Award is being presented to Santa Barbara County Sheriff Detective Ray Gamboa in recognition of his investigative efforts in the Mark Alan Phelps case. Ray’s compassionate approach instilled the trust and support necessary for the once silenced victims to come forth and tell their story.
This year our office is honoring two extraordinary Good Samaritans. They were nominated by crime victims Ellen and Jim Atwood, whose lives were forever altered by an intoxicated driver. The victims’ lives were saved by the heroic efforts of William Barbaree and Nick McGilvray, who rendered first aid at the scene of the crime.
Only 30 years ago, crime victims had virtually no rights or assistance. Victims were commonly excluded from courtrooms and denied the chance to speak at sentencing hearings. They had no access to victim compensation and little help to rebuild their lives. The nation has made dramatic progress in securing rights, protections, and services for victims. Every state has enacted victims’ rights laws and has victim compensation programs. While we appreciate that progress has been made, this week presents a perfect opportunity to not only recognize how far we have come but to acknowledge the work yet to be done. Along with our partners we stand together to recognize the rights of crime victims and support their voices within the criminal justice system.
District Attorney Joyce Dudley states, “We stand together with the individuals being honored on Friday, April 11th, committed to protecting and upholding Victims’ Rights as well as the public’s safety. Our office is dedicated to the pursuit of truth and justice by employing the highest ethical standards in vigorously prosecuting the guilty as well as protecting the innocent; this we do by seeking to insure that all crime victims are treated with fairness, dignity and respect.”
Award recipients will be present at the press conference and available for questions.