Editor, Times-Union:

Brad Voelz and the Kosciusko County Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) recently received high praise from the Sexual Assault Response Director of the Indiana Coalition to End Sexual Assault and Human Trafficking (ICESAHT).

The Sexual Assault Response Team of Kosciusko County was launched in 2019 under Brad’s direction and leadership, and I have been part of the team from the beginning.  The Kosciusko County SART protocols, which Brad authored, created a collaboration of local law enforcement, child services, medical professionals, and victim advocates who regularly meet to address best practices in the investigation and prosecution of sexual assault cases, with a focus on how to best protect victims – both children and adults – throughout the process.

Our SART team employs a Victim First approach. This approach includes valuing the victim’s input in the decision to pursue a case. It includes assigning an on-call Victims Assistant – employed by the Prosecutor’s Office – to be a reassuring presence during court hearings and lawyer interviews. It includes making victims as comfortable as possible during extremely difficult times with programs such as the Safe Harbor interview center and the use of trained service animals to comfort victims. And it includes enforcement of the Indiana Constitution Victims’ Bill of Rights.

The statewide Director of Sexual Assault Response Programs attended our most recent meeting. After Brad explained our protocols and day-to-day operations, she praised the work of our team stating, “It is clear that you all understand the role of SART, respect the work required of you, and are doing everything you can to support those impacted by sexual violence in your community. Your collaboration and thoughtfulness is truly remarkable.”

Brad Voelz is a strong advocate for victims. On November 8th, please Vote Voelz for Kosciusko County Prosecutor.

Josh Spangle

Warsaw, via email