As a victim, you have the right to confer with the prosecutor in the Baptist Foundation of Arizona criminal case. This means that you can express your views and opinions if you choose, you can request information and receive answers to your questions, and you can clarify your understanding of what is happening in the case.
You may choose to let the Assistant Attorneys General know your thoughts about a variety of matters, including a decision not to proceed (bring charges), a decision to dismiss charges, and your thoughts about plea or sentence negotiations, and pretrial diversion programs. Your right to express your opinion or views to the prosecutors, does not include the authority to direct the prosecution of the case.
Victims of crime also have the right to attend court proceedings, and at certain proceedings, you have the right as well, to be heard by the Court. Victims have the right to be heard at the Initial Appearance, at proceedings in which a Change of Plea will be considered, and they have the right to be heard at Sentencing proceedings.
How to Provide Your Input
You can exercise your right to confer by telephone, Internet, and/or use of the postal service. Through these means, opinions can be expressed, questions can be answered, information provided, and understandings clarified.
The Office of Victim Services staff will answer your questions about the status of the case, the Criminal Justice System and your rights as a crime victim. In addition, they can relay information to the prosecutors.
By telephone: You may call the BFA help-line, Monday through Friday, 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. For calls from within Maricopa County or out-of-state, the number is (602) 364-1275; in-state, but outside of Maricopa County, dial toll-free1-866-823-6577. If you would like to speak directly to the prosecutors, the victim advocates can relay your name and phone number to the prosecutor for a return phone call.
By Internet: You may e-mail the Office of Victim Services at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can expect a reply generally within ten working days.
By mail: You may write to the prosecutors at:
The Attorney Generals Office
Attn: Donald Conrad and Carolyn Passamonte
1275 West Washington
Phoenix, AZ 85007
In your letter, please outline your questions, concerns, and opinions, and provide a telephone number and the best hours to reach you. The prosecutors or an advocate will attempt to respond to letters within ten working days or less.
To be heard by the Court:
By law, victims have the right to be heard at specific proceedings -- Initial Appearances, Change of Plea Hearings, and at Sentencing. Your right to be heard at these proceedings does not mean that you have to be heard; it is your choice. The absence of the victim at a court proceeding does not preclude the court from going forth with the proceeding. Victims' rights laws provide that:
At Initial Appearances, victims may speak regarding the post-arrest release, or conditions of release, of the person(s) accused of committing a criminal offense against them. If the victims are unable to attend, they may let the prosecutor know their opinion, and ask the prosecutor to assert their right to speak for them. Alternatively, victims may exercise their right to be heard by submitting a written statement, an audio tape, or a video tape.
At Change-of-Plea Proceedings, victims may inform the court of their position regarding the negotiated plea. If the victims are unable to attend, the prosecutor is required to inform the court of the victim's position, if known, regarding the negotiated plea. (You can make the prosecutor aware of your position regarding the negotiated plea, by exercising your right to confer as described above.) Alternatively, victims may exercise their right to be heard by submitting a written statement, an audio tape, or a video tape.
At a Sentencing Proceeding(s), victims may present evidence, information, and opinions about the offense, the defendant, the sentence, or the need for restitution. Again, this may be done in person (orally), through a written statement or by way of audio or video tape.
You may send written statements, audio or video tapes to:
The Attorney General's Office of Victim Services
1275 W. Washington
Phoenix AZ 85007
A victim advocate will forward your statement to the court.
The Court has appointed Mr. Clifton Jessup, Trustee of the BFA Liquidating Trust Board as the representative for the victims in this case for the purpose of mailing our office's notifications to you about the criminal case proceedings.
Please be aware that seating at court proceedings is limited, and cannot be guaranteed (first-come, first-serve). For this reason, due to the large number of victims in this case, (approximately 11,600) exercising your right to be heard through one of the alternative means (written statement or audio or video tape) may be more effective.
Additionally, prior to sentencing, the Maricopa County Superior Court Probation Department prepares a pre-sentence report for use by the court at sentencing. The report typically includes a brief summary of the crime and information about the defendant's criminal, economic, social, educational and employment history. It also includes any information the victim(s) provide about the emotional, physical and financial effects of the crime and opinions about sentencing. To ensure your views are included in the pre-sentence report, you may write a letter or complete a Victim Impact Statement questionnaire (click on the "Victim Impact State Questionnaire" button at this web site). Whether you write a letter or complete the questionnaire, if you want your information included in the pre-sentence reports, you must mail your statement and any attachments to the pre-sentence investigator at:
Maricopa County Adult Probation Dept.