2 books in 1: Sex Crimes: Now is an entirely new sequel; Sex Crimes Then (published as Sex Crimes: Ten Years on the Front Lines Prosecuting Rapists and Confronting Their Collaborators (Random House, 1993) was a NY Times Notable Book of The Year;
Both are riveting autobiographies of one of the nation’s leading and most controversial prosecutors.
Sex Crimes: Then and Now: My Years on the Front Lines Prosecuting Rapists and Confronting Their Collaborators
“NOBODY KNOWS RAPISTS BETTER”
After being fired from her post as Chief of the Special Victims Unit for refusing to “go along to get along,” Alice Vachss published the incendiary Sex Crimes, described as “a stark, passionate closing argument in [her] broader case against the criminal justice system” by the NY Times, which named it as a Notable Book of the Year. Nick (Goodfellas) Pileggi called it “the single best book about prosecuting sex crimes in America, period.” Now, twenty years later, Alice Vachss becomes Special Prosecutor for Sex Crimes in a new environment … on the opposite coast, in a small rural community. And asks the critical question: What has changed? Sex Crimes: Then and Now shreds the myths about sex crime prosecution in America, revealing that the passage of time and a different locale are mere window dressing for horrors America has yet to face. For those who want something more than press releases and Trash-TV “coverage,” this no-compromises ebook offers the brutal truth.
In Sex Crimes: Then, (included free in this two-book package) the woman the press described as one of America’s toughest prosecutors grippingly recounts her career and in the process offers a searing indictment of our justice system. Included are close-ups of her most harrowing cases, among them the predatory pedophile who headed a boy’s club to get closer to victims; the serial rapist who terrorized the city as “The Stalker”: and the violent incest offender who tortured his “property” (his own daughter.)
“My first lesson about sex crimes prosecution,” Vachss writes, “was that perpetrators were not the only enemy.” She shows how the system is heavily weighted against victims. In what has come to be her trademarked term, she brands as “rape collaborators” police officers and judges whose ingrained attitudes aid and comfort criminals; elected officials and attorneys concerned only with their political futures; fickle juries seemingly impervious to compelling evidence; and a legal system skeptical of cries of rape.
Asked in a 2007 interview in The Guardian “Does she miss putting rapists in prison? ‘Hell, yes,’ says Vachss. Would she return to the front line? ‘Am I willing to put up with the politics of running for office, or the backstabbing and infighting of being an employee of an elected official? That’s a much tougher question.’” [Julie Bindel, “The rapists’ enemy”]
Sex Crimes: Now finds Alice Vachss, still the same, back in the trenches insisting to a jury: “I don’t have to prove motive. The motive for rape is rape,” and battling a system hell-bent on freeing a monster. Inevitably, Vachss reached a point of no return, “Years before, Richard A. Brown’s response when he was asked why he fired me was that I’d done an excellent job. Ever-aware of the politics of prosecution, Brown had waited until he was elected, not simply appointed, before taking it upon himself to decide how much weight ‘doing an excellent job’ would or would not carry in his office. All these years later this new DA was about to make the same decision.” Reviewed as “even better than the original” Sex Crimes: Now is an important and immensely readable sequel.
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Admitted as an attorney in New York in 1975, Alice Vachss was one of the first women criminal trial lawyers of her era. From the rough-and-tumble of Manhattan’s Night Court, to the gallery at the Old Bailey, in New York City as a sex crimes prosecutor and as a special victims bureau chief, and in the Pacific Northwest as a special prosecutor, she has spent the past 41 years fighting for what she believes in.
Her dedicated website is alicevachss.com
Alice Vachss, is the former Chief of the Special Victims Bureau of the Queens (NYC) District Attorney’s Office. During her tenure, she tried more than 100 felony cases to verdict, including rape, child sexual assault, elder abuse, domestic violence, cult abuse, and homicide. Under her leadership, the Special Victims Bureau innovated new approaches and techniques in sex-crimes prosecution which ranged from trail-blazing the use of DNA evidence in New York courts, to firing the first shots in the still-current battle to modernize statutes of limitations for sexual assault. Ms. Vachss is the author of “Sex Crimes” (Random House, 1993), a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. That book (included here as “Sex Crimes:Then” in this two-book edition) coined the term “collaborator” to describe those within the criminal-justice system who provide aid and comfort to perpetrators.
Before assuming leadership of the Special Victims Bureau, Ms. Vachss was a VISTA volunteer, a counselor in a maximum-security prison for violent youth, and a trial attorney in New York City’s Legal Aid Criminal Defense Division.
After publication of her book she specialized in such areas as campus sexual assault, elder sexual abuse, civil legal response to violence against women and, more recently, she returned to sex crimes prosecution. Her latter experiences lead her to write a sequel to her book, entitled “Sex Crimes: Now”. Both the original and the sequel are include here as “Sex Crimes: Then and Now.”