Villanova University School of Law
Matthew J. Ryan Law & Public Policy Forum
Abolishing Commercial Sexual Exploitation in Pennsylvania:
A Plan for Action
The Forum will bring together advocates, public defenders, prosecutors, law enforcement officers, academics, policy-makers and other key stakeholders to assess Pennsylvania’s current approach to commercial sexual exploitation (CSE) and to consider strategies that have proven effective in other states. The event will highlight best practices from throughout the United States, with speakers from Chicago, New York, Minneapolis and Washington DC joining a discussion to develop strategies for the prevention, reduction and elimination of commercial sexual exploitation in Pennsylvania. The Forum will also serve as the kick-off event for the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence (PCADV) yearlong celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act.
The Forum takes place from 9:00 a.m. (with registration beginning at 8:00 a.m.) to 4:30 p.m., in room 101 at Villanova University School of Law.
This program is approved for 4.5 hours of Continuing Legal Education (CLE): 3 substantive and 1.5 ethics.
8:00-9:00 Registration and Continental Breakfast
- Steven L. Chanenson Professor of Law, Villanova University School of Law
- Sen. Daylin Leach, Pennsylvania State Senator for the 17th District
- Jack Whelan, District Attorney, Delaware County, Pennsylvania
Ellen Kramer, Legal Director of PCADV, will provide an overview of the goals of PCADV's yearlong celebration of the 20th Anniversary of VAWA, and will highlight the unique collaboration that connects Villanova’s event, PCADV and the seven other Pennsylvania law schools
9:40-11:10 Panel 1: Commercial Sexual Exploitation: An Overview
The panel will provide a general education regarding commercial sexual exploitation (CSE), address myths regarding CSE and emphasize the importance of survivor leadership in organizing against CSE.
- Mary DeFusco, Director of Training and Recruitment, Defender’s Association of Philadelphia and Adjunct Professor of Trial Advocacy, Villanova University School of Law
- Hugh Organ, Associate Director, Covenant House Pennsylvania and Co-Chair of the Philadelphia Anti-Trafficking Coalition;
- Anne Marie Jones, 1st graduate of Philadelphia’s “Project Dawn Court”
- Sophia Lane, Youth Outreach Coordinator, and Rhea Gayle, Youth Outreach Fellow, Girls Educational and Mentoring Services (GEMS) in New York City
- Moderator: Ruth Gordon, Professor of Law, Villanova University School of Law
11:30-1:00 Panel 2: Building an Effective State-Wide Anti-Trafficking Movement: Best Practices from Outside of Pennsylvania
The panel will identify successful strategies for addressing commercial sexual exploitation that have been implemented throughout the United States.
- Vednita Carter, Executive Director, Breaking Free, St. Paul, MN
- Lauren Hersh, Director of New York Office, Equality Now, New York, NY
- Lynne Johnson, Policy and Advocacy Director, Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation (CAASE), Chicago, IL
- Brittany Vanderhoof, Policy Counsel, Polaris Project, Washington DC
- Moderator: Tuan Samahon, Professor of Law, Villanova University School of Law
2:00-3:45 Panel 3: The Pennsylvania Anti-Trafficking Movement: Successes and Roadblocks
The panel will discuss the various efforts that have been made within Pennsylvania to combat commercial sexual exploitation/trafficking, identify the successes we have experienced, as well as the challenges we have faced.
- Sen. Stewart Greenleaf, Pennsylvania State Senator, 12th District
- Pearl Kim, Assistant District Attorney, Delaware County
- Michelle Morgan, Assistant U.S. Attorney, Eastern District of Pennsylvania
- Shea Rhodes, Advocate and Former Assistant District Attorney, Philadelphia County, currently with Graff & Associates
- Mary Burke, Southwestern Pennsylvania Anti-Trafficking Coalition
- Moderator: Heather Baum, Professor of Legal Writing, Villanova University School of Law
4:00-4:20 Identifying Next Steps in the Pennsylvania Anti-Trafficking Movement
- Viktoria Kristiansson, Attorney Advisor, AEquitas: The Prosecutor's Resource on Violence Against Women, Moderator and Presenter
- Seth Lupton, Villanova Law Student, Class of 2015 and President of the Coalition Advocating for Rights and Dignity (CARD)
- Bridget G. Therriault, former student in Villanova University's cross-disciplinary Human Trafficking course
4:20-4:30 Closing Remarks
- Michelle M. Dempsey, Associate Dean for Faculty Reseach and Development and Professor of Law, Villanova University School of Law
- Doris DelTosto Brogan, Professor of Law, Villanova University School of Law
The Villanova University School of Law Matthew J. Ryan Law and Public Policy Forum honors the memory of one of the Law School’s most distinguished alumni, The Honorable Matthew J. Ryan, BS '54, JD '59, the former Speaker of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. The Ryan Forum was made possible by the generosity of his many friends and the leadership of Arthur J. Kania, JD '56; Albert A. Lindner, JD '68; James E. McErlane, BA '64, JD '67; and Richard G. Phillips, BS '62, JD '66.