This year’s Freedom Network Conference, “TVPA: Past, Present, and Future: Elevating the Human in Human Trafficking,” will include a track dedicated solely to law enforcement. As in previous years, this track will include content and interactive workshops that focus on unique ways law enforcement and service providers can overcome challenges to prosecuting human trafficking cases. Leading the discussion in the first session of the track are two experts from the Department of Justice’s Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit (Theresa Segovia and Daniel Weiss) and Detective Megan Bruneau from Homeland Security Investigations based in Seattle. They will discuss the intricacies involved in investigating human trafficking cases including engaging survivors in interviews, unique and successful approaches to contacting alleged human traffickers and evidence collection, and experiences that taught us what does not work. Read on to learn more about the speakers. Registration is still open and can be found here.
Theresa Segovia, National Program Manager, Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit, Criminal Section, Civil Rights Division, US Department of Justice. Theresa Segovia is the National Program Manager for the Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit, within the Civil Rights Division of the US Department of Justice for the Civil Rights Division’s Criminal Section. Previously, she was the investigator for the Unit, and held collateral duty as the victim-witness specialist for the Criminal Section. In addition to coordinating investigative efforts for cases involving sex trafficking and forced labor throughout the United States, Ms. Segovia also provides training for law enforcement and NGOs on human trafficking policy, best practices and trends. She is the liaison to the federally funded human trafficking task forces, and serves on numerous federal anti-trafficking working groups, including the inter-agency committee responsible for the Federal Strategic Action Plan on Services for Victims of Human Trafficking in the United States. Before joining DOJ, Ms. Segovia spent eleven years with the Houston Police Department, working first as a senior trainer at the Police Academy, then as a criminal intelligence analyst, in HPD’s Planning and Research Section. While in Houston, Ms. Segovia served on the Mayor’s Advisory Committee on Immigrant and Refugee Affairs and represented the Department on several anti-human trafficking coalitions, including the Houston Chapter of Rescue and Restore and the Coalition Against Human Trafficking.
Megan Bruneau, Detective, Seattle Police Department, VICE/High Risk Victims Unit – Human Trafficking; Task Force Officer – Homeland Security Investigations – Seattle. Detective Megan Bruneau has been with the Seattle Police Department for over 15 years. She has been assigned as SPD’s Human Trafficking Detective for 4 years and is a Task Force Officer with Homeland Security Investigations (Seattle office). Megan is dedicated to a victim-centered, trauma-informed approach to human trafficking cases and works to bring creativity and diligence to all investigations. This has allowed her to develop excellent relationships with fellow investigators, prosecutors, and NGO service providers. Megan has provided professional training on human trafficking investigations to law enforcement agencies locally, nationally, and internationally at the request of the Department of Justice, Homeland Security, and other law enforcement agencies. As a patrol officer Megan worked in downtown Seattle and assisted the VICE/High Risk Victims Unit, Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Unit, multiple precinct Anti-Crime Team (ACT) Units, and the FBI’s Child Exploitation Task Force (CETF) on various operations. Prior to becoming a sworn police officer in 2006, Megan spent her first five years with SPD as a civilian employee with the Victim Support Team (VST), an on-scene crisis intervention advocacy program for domestic violence victims and their children. After starting as a volunteer and working in the office through the AmeriCorps program, Megan became the VST Supervisor from 2003 to 2005. Megan is a graduate of the University of Washington.
Daniel Weiss, Senior Trial Attorney, Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit, Criminal Section, Civil Rights Division, US Department of Justice. Daniel H. Weiss is a Senior Trial Attorney in the Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit of the United States Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division. Mr. Weiss is a federal prosecutor who focuses on forced labor and sex trafficking prosecutions. Mr. Weiss has prosecuted cases throughout the United States and has received numerous awards from the Department of Justice, including three special commendations from the Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights. Mr. Weiss is a frequent presenter at civil rights conferences and has trained prosecutors, judges and law enforcement officers in the United States and abroad on the victim-centered approach to human trafficking investigation and prosecution. Mr. Weiss graduated with honors from the University of Maryland School of Law and received his undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania.