Washington, DC – Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-CA), Co-Chair of the Democratic Women’s Caucus, will bring survivor Courtney Wild as her guest to the 2020 State of the Union. Courtney is the namesake of the bipartisan Courtney Wild Crime Victims’ Rights Reform Act of 2019, introduced by Rep. Speier with Reps. Scott Perry (R-PA), Lois Frankel (D-FL), and Mo Brooks (R-AL).
“Courtney’s bravery and dignity in the face of unfathomable treatment by those who should have been fighting for her and the other Epstein survivors, and the resulting miscarriage of justice in that case deserves and demands the nation’s attention” said Rep. Speier, who is also Co-Chair of the Bipartisan Task Force to End Sexual Violence. “By attending this year’s SOTU as my distinguished guest, Courtney is helping me send a clear message that women are done with being treated as second class citizens in our own country. We are standing up for what is right and to ensure that those who continue to subvert the rule of law and those who fail to hold perpetrators responsible for their malign deeds will not succeed. Together, we are taking a stand and fighting for the bipartisan Courtney Wild Crime Victims’ Rights Reform Act so that victims’ rights are more than just empty words.”
The Courtney Wild Crime Victims’ Rights Reform Act of 2019 was named for Courtney’s courageous leadership in asserting the rights of the scores of victims who fell prey to Jeffrey Epstein in Florida, and who were kept in the dark as federal prosecutors hashed out a secret and shockingly lenient plea deal. Courtney fought in court for over 10 years before a Federal District Court finally declared that her rights, and the rights of other victims of the serial sexual predator, under the Crime Victims’ Rights Act (CVRA) were violated. Unfortunately, judicial relief was cut short when Epstein committed suicide in jail. This legislation will ensure that such injustice will not affect victims of federal crimes in the future.
This bill would ensure that victims of crime are treated with dignity throughout a criminal case and avoid further victimization. It would update and improve the CVRA by clarifying the scope of victims’ rights and creating stronger judicial and administrative processes for victims to assert their rights. The legislation would also allow victims to obtain up to $15,000 in monetary redress for violations of their CVRA rights, facilitate better legal representation through attorneys’ fees, and fund victim assistance programs.
You can read more about the Courtney Wild Crime Victims’ Rights Reform Act of 2019 here.