Chief Deputy D.A. Thea Carrasco Receives Victim Services Award
Published on April 10, 2017
GREELEY, Colo. (Weld County D.A.) -- Annie was just eight years old when she testified inside of a courtroom for the very first time. Many go a lifetime without a similar experience, but Annie had to brave a room full of lawyers before most children even know what the justice system is.
She was the first child Weld County Chief Deputy District Attorney Thea Carrasco ever put on the stand. "I was terrified," Carrasco said.
Terrified because it wasn't a simple case to prove. Annie, at such a young age, was the victim of sexual assault; her stepdad molested her for more than four years. He was tried, convicted and sentenced to 24 years to life in prison.
"This type of case weighs down on you more than any other," Carrasco continued. "The children have to go through so much and there's so much at stake, it's terrifying to think the jury will say 'not guilty.'
Annie's case is just one of many that sticks out in Carrasco's mind. There's also the story of Lileigh, a young girl who died after the mobile home she was sleeping in caught fire.
While she died in the blaze, her mom was getting high on drugs.
Since joining the District Attorney's office as a prosecutor in 2010, Carrasco has dedicated her professional and personal energy to ensuring justice for victims of violence, like Annie and Lileigh.
That drive and commitment is why she was awarded the Coordinating Committee for Victims of Crime's (CCVC) 2017 Community Leadership Award, which honors those who are passionate about the field of victim services and dedicated to providing assistance to survivors.
Carrasco was presented the award last week during Weld County's Victims' Rights Week.
"She is aggressive, prepared and relentless in her pursuit of justice," the committee said.
Beyond her duties as a prosecutor, Carrasco is also a member of the Sexual Assault Victim Advocate (SAVA) Center Board of Directors. SAVA leaders said Carrasco has been instrumental in creating a robust sexual assault prevention program and better access to affordable, trauma-informed therapy to victims of sexual assault in Weld County.
"Thea has shaped the entire landscape of victim services in Weld County," said Chelsea Wilson, a member of SAVA. "One would be hard-pressed to identify something more Thea could possibly do to advance services for victims of sexual assault."