Baltimore State’s Attorney Gregg L. Bernstein announced his office has created a dedicated unit to prosecute crimes victimizing women, children and vulnerable adults.
Mark Cheshire, a spokesman for the State's Attorney's office, said there wasn't a particular reason or case that warranted starting the new unit, but said the office was simply following best practices.
The new Special Victims Unit will be head by Assistant State’s Attorney Lisa Phelps and combines the Family Violence and Sex Offense divisions, according to a news release announcing the change.
"These are extremely important cases that involve victims with unique needs. We hope and expect this reorganization will produce better outcomes both in court and for victims of sexual assault and domestic violence," Bernstein said in the release.
The new Special Victims Unit will be made up of three teams with one dedicated to cases involving children, a second handling cases with adults and a third addressing District Court Cases.
The unit will handle crimes including sexual assault and abuse, domestic violence, child abuse and pornography, human trafficking and non-economic offenses involving vulnerable adults, according to the news release.