SAN JOSE -- The Santa Clara County Victim Support Network, a consortium of 11 law-enforcement and community agencies that collaborate to provide services for crime victims, held a ceremony Wednesday to honor their "Unsung Heroes" in the field from the past year.

U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag and District Attorney Jeff Rosen spoke at the ceremony in the San Jose Police Officers Association hall. The 12 honorees are:

  • Paul Letsinger and Uli Kuehn, whose work at a pair of San Jose funeral homes was highlighted for finding creative ways to help crime victims' families lay their loved ones to rest

  • Deputy district attorneys Victor Chen and Christopher Arriola, for prosecuting fraud and juvenile cases, respectively

  • Probation officers Elisa Carias and Frank Nesci for helping curb child exploitation and pursuing victim restitution, respectively

  • Watsonville Detective Elizabeth Sousa, FBI Special Agent Christina Chesson and Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Kaleba for reuniting a woman with her two sons who were being held for ransom in Mexico and a kidnapping and extortion case

  • Erica Elliot for her work to expand the availability of resources and services for victims of sexual assault and exploitation

  • Nurse Linda Richards for her work on the Sexual Assault Response Team to refine and improve required exams for sexual assault victims

  • Attorney Ruth Silver Taube for her work advancing labor rights and countywide efforts raise awareness of and battle human trafficking


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  • Laion Saelee for supporting domestic violence victims at a local women's shelter

  • Counselor Kay Reed for supporting domestic violence victims at the YWCA

  • Volunteer Karen Guldan for her work at YWCA by manning crisis hotlines and offering personal support to sexual assault victims

  • Palo Alto Police Chief Dennis Burns for 31 years of service to the city of Palo Alto.