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The Athens Clarke County Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners, Inc. (ACC SANE) holds its inaugural fashion show and silent auction on March 16 at 7pm at Akademia Brewing Company in Athens. The benefit is called “What They Were Wearing.” This title has two meanings. First, it was chosen to dispel the victim-blaming myth that the clothing someone is wearing somehow invites a sexual assault. The survivors of sexual assault and rape are not responsible for their attack. Second, the title highlights the fundraising aspect of the show. Models include high profile individuals from Walton, Clarke, Oconee, Barrow and other surrounding Counties. These models will showcase spring clothing lines from local retailers.

The event will raise money for ACC SANE, which provides numerous services including medical services for the evaluation of victims of sexual assault and abuse. District Attorney Randy McGinley and Walton County Sheriff’s Department Investigator Alicia Chandler will be two of the models for the benefit. While tickets for the fashion show are sold out, but Walton County residents can still participate and raise money for ACC SANE.

District Attorney Randy McGinley, elected to serve both Walton and Newton Counties, has spent much of his career handling cases involving rape and sexual assault. “Our society has come a long way in how it views sexual assault. However, we still hear ‘what was she wearing?’ or ‘she didn’t act like a rape victim.’ The District Attorney’s Office handles cases involving sexual assault in a way that minimizes any re-victimization of the survivor of the assault. Our prosecutors, victim advocates, and investigators are highly experienced and highly trained in handling the most difficult of these cases.” McGinley said. “I also believe that working together with great organizations like ACC SANE, our law enforcement partners, and other organizations that serve Walton County leads to the best outcomes in sexual assault cases. I am looking forward to ‘modeling’ for this extremely important event.”

Investigator Alicia Chandler has been involved in sexual assault and rape cases both as a law enforcement investigator and a forensic interviewer of child victims of sexual and physical abuse. About the What They Were Wearing event, Chandler said, “I am honored to be involved in this because of the 1700 children that I have met in my career and shared their story. They are more brave than most of us will ever be. I am participating to show families that there is a very wide range of how victims of sexual assault respond and that there is no ‘normal’ response to such abuse.”

District Attorney McGinley added that one of the first sexual assault trials he ever handled in Walton County was a case that Inv. Chandler was the lead detective. It involved charges of rape and child molestation involving multiple victims by a man who had been a foster parent in Walton County. Working together on that case and numerous cases since then, both McGinley and Chandler have always strived to put victims and survivors of sexual assault first.

If you would like to find out more about the event and the models, visit:

Links for District Attorney McGinley and Investigator Chandler:

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District Attorney Randy McGinley announces that Senior Assistant District Attorney Alex Stone will be circuit-wide Gang/Gun Violence Prosecutor:

Every day we hear and see news about gang and gun violence across our country and in our State. While Newton and Walton Counties are great communities to live and work in, we are not immune from these issues. Sadly, some of our own communities and community members have been greatly and negatively affected by this.

The entire Circuit has come together to address this issue. Recently, Newton County, Walton County, the City of Covington, and the City of Monroe agreed to jointly fund a position with the DA’s office that can focus on Gang and Gun violence across BOTH Counties. Senior Assistant DA Alex Stone is filling this important role. She has handled criminal matters in both counties, including gang crimes, serious violent crime, sex crimes, and murders. She is a perfect fit for this position which will include working closely with all local law enforcement agencies, as well as state and federal agencies. Alex’s abilities in and out of the courtroom will be a great benefit to Newton and Walton Counties.

We have seen a rise of violent cases in which parties have ties to both Newton and Walton and other surrounding counties. Having a prosecutor dedicated to handling these cases will ensure the best outcomes and make our communities safer. These cases will often focus on larger, longer investigations; include multiple defendants; and require expert knowledge of gangs, ballistics, social media, and other important evidence.

This is part of my office’s multi-prong approach to help combat gang and gun violence. On cases involving gun violence, we have strengthened the recommendations of probation (post confinement) conditions. We have worked together with law enforcement to prioritize gang and gun violence cases. We worked together with the Newton County Sheriff’s Office, Walton County Sheriff’s Office, Covington Police Department, Monroe Police Department, Social Circle Police Department, Porterdale Police Department, and Oxford Police Department to obtain State grant money over $100,000 to help combat criminal gang activity in our circuit.

Senior ADA Stone will also work with others in the office in addressing gang activity before it starts. We are reaching out to schools, community organizations, and others to meet and discuss the evils of gang culture with our youth and parents. We believe that prosecuting violent gang and gun offenders AND discouraging our youth from joining gangs or committing gun violence is the best approach, long term, to this issue.

I want to thank the County Commissioners of both Newton and Walton Counties and the City Council Members of Covington and Monroe for their support of my Office and their communities.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to Alex or me if you have questions or our like Office to come speak to your civic or community group. Senior ADA Stone can be reached at or 770-784-2070 and I can be reached at or 404-247-1092.

District Attorney Randy McGinley

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From District Attorney Randy McGinley: The Chief Medical Examiner for the Georgia Bureau of Investigation put out a very informative video about autopsies and the findings that are made by medical examiners.

These findings are often reported by news organizations but with little or no explanation as to their meaning. Many of you have probably heard in the news that a medical examiner's office has determined a death to be a "homicide." As Dr. Eisenstat explains, this is a MEDICAL determination, not a LEGAL determination. It simply means that the death was caused by another person. But this determination alone does not make the death a criminal act.

News organizations will often treat this finding as "breaking news" even when the case involves a claim of self defense. When someone claims that they acted in self defense, they are admitting to causing the death. Therefore, the medical examiner determining that the death is a "homicide" in that situation should surprise no one. The medical examiner's finding has nothing to do with whether the death was justified (meaning the act would legally be considered self defense). The finding does not mean that the death was or was not a crime, including murder or manslaughter. It is merely a finding that the death was cause by another person.

The determination as to whether the person causing the death will face criminal charges is left to law enforcement and the district attorney's office based on the totality of the facts and circumstances. The autopsy can help in that decision. For example, the autopsy may show that the direction of the wounds that cause the death would not support a claim of self defense.

As Dr. Eisenstat also explains, the finding that a death was an "accident" does not mean that it was not a criminal act. Under Georgia law, if an individual is driving a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or a drug, and this DUI causes the death of another person, that is vehicular homicide. This does not require proof that the death was intended by the person driving under the influence. In these situations, the "manner" of death would be classified as an "accident" by a medical examiner. However, it is crime, and a serious one.

There are countless other scenarios that a medical examiner's determination may not lead to a common sense conclusion as to whether there was a crime involved with the death. That is because those are two separate determinations. The medical examiner is ONLY making a medical determination as to the cause of death, NOT a legal determination.

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