In new post, attorney to help child abuse, rape victims

August 27, 2004|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,SUN STAFF

Linda Holmes will move from the Carroll County attorney's office to the Child Abuse and Sexual Assault unit, where she will become the agency's first program manager.

In her new job, which she will begin Sept. 9, Holmes will "work closely with the public, educating them to the needs of this unit and bringing a wealth of information to this job," Jolene G. Sullivan, director of Carroll's Department of Citizen Services, said in an interview yesterday.

Sullivan, whose agency oversees the CASA unit, interviewed eight candidates for the job. Holmes' background and experience matched the needs of the CASA unit, Sullivan said.

In a news release issued yesterday, Carroll Sheriff Kenneth L. Tregoning said Holmes understands the CASA mission to "make the victim safe and bring the wrong doer to justice."

After earning her law degree from the University of Maryland in 1982, Holmes, 49, practiced law in the public and private sectors before joining the county attorney's staff two years ago. The Westminster resident represented the Department of Social Services in child abuse and neglect cases.

"As the county attorney with DSS, Linda has represented a number of cases involving neglected and sexually abused children," Sullivan said. "She understands the law, and now she is taking on an administrative role."

Her experiences with victims and a working relationship with the CASA staff have given her a solid background for the new job, Holmes said.

"I am very familiar with this area of the law," Holmes said. "I have always liked the public practice of the law, and I get a real satisfaction from serving the public interest. I feel that I have a lot to offer."

The unit was formed about 10 years ago from a partnership between the Maryland State Police, which supervises the unit, and the state's attorney's office.

It has evolved into a task force that includes sheriff's deputies, a Westminster police officer and several prosecutors. They work closely with victims' advocates, the county Board of Education, social services, rape crisis counselors and medical personnel at Carroll Hospital Center.

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