24 overwhelmed,” he said. Mintz Levin agreed to represent Cheryl in an open criminal matter in Massachusetts and to assist her in finding counsel for open and closed criminal matters in other states. “We needed to put together as much evidence as we could to show the District Attorney’s Office that Cheryl was a sex trafficking victim,” Alec said. Painstakingly, Alec and Lavinia, with the unwavering assistance of Mintz Levin senior research analyst Jessica Bumpous, gathered information from eight states where Cheryl had been trafficked—with many of the records dating back close to 20 years. With this information, they assembled a compelling story. Ultimately, the District Attorney’s Office agreed to dismiss the charge against Cheryl, and the Court sealed the record of her arrest. This open case in Massachusetts was only the first step. The team continues to advise Cheryl and help connect her with attorneys across the country to do the same in every other state where she was trafficked. Cheryl has, for the first time, experienced a criminal justice system that recognizes her status as a survivor, not a criminal. “Cheryl’s strength in overcoming all that she has suffered is remarkable, and I am honored to have been able to assist her with this piece of the puzzle as she works so hard to rebuild her life,” Lavinia said. A Lifeline to a Better Future (continued)