Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

April 20, 2014

Crime victims’ group to host conference

Kenneth Hart
The Independent

GRAYSON — Kentucky Voices for Victims of Crime, an advocacy organization for those who have suffered at the hands of criminals, will have its annual memorial conference next week.

The event will take place at 6:30 p.m. April 28 at New Beginnings Assembly of God Church, 160 Promise Land Drive in Grayson.

The keynote speaker for the program will be Gerina Whethers, executive director of Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway’s Office of Victims Advocacy. Brandon Ison, commonwealth’s attorney for Carter, Elliott and Morgan counties, also will provide comments.

Carter Family Court Judge David Flatt will be the master of ceremonies and music will be provided by Debbie Leonhart and John Stevens. Mark Griffith will share a devotion.

In her role as director of the state Office of Victims Advocacy, Whethers oversees an agency that provides appellate and referral resources and other services to thousands of crime victims in the commonwealth. She also chairs by proxy the Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation Prevention Board and works on the annual Victims Assistance Conference, which provides training for hundreds every year.

Whethers previously worked as an assistant county attorney in the Domestic Violence Sexual Assault unit of the Jefferson County Attorney’s Office, where she prosecuted cases of child sexual and physical abuse, domestic violence and elder abuse. She also prosecuted cases in the county attorney’s Felony/Misdemeanor Division, specializing in the fugitive warrant area.

Whethers also served as a staff attorney in Jefferson Circuit Court, performing extensive research and authoring hundreds of legal opinions, and as a trial commissioner in Jefferson District Court. Prior to beginning her legal career, she served as assistant dean of admissions at Bellarmine University.

Kentucky Voices for Victims of Crime is the new name of the organization formerly known as Parents of Murdered Children of Northeastern Kentucky. Officers of the old organization continue to serve on the new one in their same respective capacities.

KENNETH HART can be reached at khart@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2654.