Danielle Russo Bennetts 

Danielle Russo Bennetts is Director of the Violence Against Women Project, for the Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan (PAAM). She has a wide variety of experience in prosecution, criminal law, training, management, and advocacy for victims of crimes. Prior to joining PAAM, Ms. Bennetts spent almost 15 years with the Wayne County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office (WCPO) in Detroit, Michigan. At the time of her departure from the WCPO, she served as the supervising Lead Attorney of the Sexual Assault Team (SAT), managing a team of assistant prosecutors, while also vertically prosecuting cases involving crimes of Sexual Assault, Human Trafficking, and Sexual Assault-related Homicide. Ms. Bennetts began her career with the WCPO in the Domestic Violence Unit, prosecuting both felony and misdemeanor cases, while working in conjunction with the Detroit Police Department Domestic Violence Task Force. Additionally, she has extensive felony trial experience, prosecuting all types of criminal cases, as well as years of practice making charging decisions on warrants, and handling preliminary examinations in various district courts. She has handled many high profile, criminal cases, along with complex, multiple-defendant cases. She has also prosecuted juvenile delinquency cases, while working closely with many community-based social workers and other therapeutic service-based organizations.

Ms. Bennetts is a member of the State Bar of Michigan, and a two-time graduate of Wayne State University. She received her Bachelor of Arts Degree, with a major in Journalism, in 2000, and her Juris Doctorate Degree in 2003. During her years in law school, she worked as an intern for the Office of the Attorney General, assigned to the Child Abuse and Neglect Division. She is an active participant with the Wayne County Sexual Assault Collaborative (WC-SAC). She has previously served as a presenter/panelist in various trainings, educating the community in the areas of Sexual Assault, Human Trafficking, and Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Testimony. She has previously trained for PAAM, Wayne State University Law School, Wayne County SAFE, and other organizations on behalf of the WCPO.

Erica K. Smith

Erica K. Smith, the Violence Against Women Training Attorney, has a background in criminal prosecution, including adult and child sexual assault, domestic violence, stalking, child abuse, and elder abuse.  Ms. Smith worked as an Assistant Prosecutor at the Oakland County Prosecutor's Office for 11 years, with the last 5 1/2 years as a Special Prosecutor in their Special Victims Section. While in that division, Ms. Smith handled preliminary examinations, motions, warrant review, jury trials, and sentencings. Ms. Smith has also provided training to cadets at Oakland Community College in the area of domestic violence and stalking.  Ms. Smith is a member of the State Bar of Michigan, and received her law degree at Michigan State University Law School, where she specialized in Child and Family Advocacy.
 

Meghan Faught

Meghan Faught graduated from Michigan State University with a Bachelor’s in Media and Information. During her time at MSU, she discovered her passion supporting and empowering survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. She went on to work at EVE, a Lansing resource center and shelter for survivors of domestic and sexual violence, as the Volunteer Coordinator; while in this position, Ms. Faught was responsible for hiring/training/supervising all of the interns and volunteers, hosting trainings and information sessions for the community, and maintaining their website and all social media. 

 

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