Numerous detectives, records personnel, evidence room personnel, victim advocates, counselors, investigative assistants, clerical staff and other professionals throughout Ventura County are part of the VCSAKI effort.
Leadership for VCSAKI is provided by personnel from the Ventura County Sheriff's Office, Forensic Services Bureau and the Ventura County District Attorney's Office.
Supervising Forensic Scientist
Supervising Forensic Scientist Shanin Barrios leads VCSAKI. She has been performing forensic analysis for 25 years. Shanin has worked in the Forensic Services Bureau as a DNA casework analyst, the DNA Technical Leader, and Supervising Forensic Scientist. As Supervising Forensic Scientist, Shanin oversees a team of scientists who analyze evidence for the presence of DNA. In VCSAKI, Shanin oversees the inventory and testing processes, supervises the scientists involved in the initiative and administers the grant that funds the initiative.
Senior Deputy District Attorney
Senior Deputy District Attorney Brent Nibecker helps lead VCSAKI. He has been a prosecutor with the District Attorney's Office for 16 years. During that time, Brent has primarily handled domestic violence and sexual assault cases. For eight years he served as a supervising prosecutor, including serving as the supervisor of the Sexual Assault Unit from 2018 through 2022. In VCSAKI, Brent helps create policy for the initiative, assists the Forensic Services Bureau with the inventory process, investigates unsolved sexual assault cases, and prosecutes VCSAKI cases.
District Attorney Investigator
District Attorney Investigator II Yumi Kirk has been a peace officer for approximately 11 years. She started her career at the Santa Barbara Police Department where she worked as a patrol officer, school resource officer, crisis negotiator, and detective in major crimes. In 2012, Yumi joined the District Attorney’s Office as an investigator. She was assigned to the Sexual Assault Family Protection Unit, investigating sexual assault, domestic violence, crimes against children and elder abuse cases. Yumi was recently reassigned to VCSAKI, where she leads the effort to investigate unsolved sexual assault cases.
Victim Advocate Destiny Sao provides support and advocacy for VCSAKI victims. Destiny received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Fresno State University, and began her career in 2014 as a youth developmental specialist assisting children and teens. Destiny Joined the District Attorney’s Office in October 2020. She assists victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking by connecting them with service providers, informing them of their rights, providing court support, creating protective orders, and implementing safety plans. In VCSAKI, Destiny helps victims determine the status of their sexual assault kit, connects victims to appropriate resources, orients victims to the criminal justice system and provides crisis intervention when needed.
VCSAKI Multi-Disciplinary Working Group
The efforts of the Forensic Services Bureau and the District Attorney's Office are advised by a team with diverse professional backgrounds known as the VCSAKI Multi-Disciplinary Working Group. This group meets on a regular basis to create policy for VCSAKI aimed at testing all untested SAKs and ensuring that SAKs are tested in a timely manner in the future.
Dr. Caroline Prijatel-Sutton, PsyD
Executive Director, Coalition for Family Harmony
Caroline Prijatel-Sutton has had a passion for working with victims of violence since she was an undergraduate psychology student at Agnes Scott College in Atlanta, GA. Caroline became a volunteer counselor for Children of War in Northern Ireland and continued her work with the World Relief organization as an advocate for Egyptian refugees. She worked for the Mental Health Program for Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter at The Carter Center. After completing her graduate work, Caroline began working for The Coalition in 2007 as the child and elder abuse hotline director. In 2008, Caroline became the crisis response and intervention supervisor for the Rape Crisis Program and in February 2011 Caroline became the executive director for The Coalition. Caroline has served on several county boards and committees including the Partnership for Safe Communities and the Ventura County Community Corrections Partnership. Caroline holds a Masters in Counseling Psychology and a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology.
Detective, Oxnard Police Department
Detective Juan Morales has worked for the Oxnard Police Department for 22 years. In 2000, Juan began his career with the Oxnard Police Department as a civilian employee working as a traffic service assistant and community service officer. In 2006, Juan was hired as a police officer. Since then, his assignments have included patrol officer, district officer, school resource officer, and now as corporal detective for the Family Protection Unit. The Family Protection Unit investigates sexual assaults, crimes against children, and domestic violence. Juan enjoys serving in the Family Protection Unit as it allows him to assist victims of traumatic events and inform these victims of resources available to them.
Detective Sergeant, Oxnard Police Department
Sergeant Scott Aaron is the supervisor for the Oxnard Police Department's Family Protection Unit. Scott came to the Oxnard Police Department in 2004, working in patrol, traffic, the Neighborhood Policing Team, and as a sexual assault investigator. He partners with governmental and community organizations that advocate for survivors' rights while leading a team of dedicated detectives working on these difficult cases.
Dr. Aimee Brecht-Doscher, MD
Medical Director Forensic Examiner Program, Ventura County Health Care Agency
Dr. Aimee Brecht-Doscher is a board-certified OB/GYN physician and is the Medical Director for the Ventura County Forensic Nurse Examiner Program. She has worked for the County of Ventura for over 15 years. In addition to the forensic examiner program, Aimee is the Assistant Chief Medical Information Officer for the Healthcare Agency, and OB/GYN Physician at Mandalay Bay Women and Children's Group.
Jessica Flanagan BSN, RN, PHN
Forensic Nurse Examiner Program Coordinator
Jessica Flanagan is the Program Coordinator for the Ventura County Forensic Nurse Examiner Program. She specializes in caring for survivors of interpersonal violence, and provides education and training to medical professionals and other community partners about the impacts of violence on individuals and communities. Prior to completing her bachelor's degree in nursing, she served in the United States Navy where she earned a bachelor's degree in organizational management. Jessica is from Ventura County and passionate about serving her community and working toward more equitable access to services for vulnerable populations.
Detective, Santa Paula Police Department
Hector Ramirez was born in Texas and raised in Santa Paula. He began his law enforcement career as a reserve officer for the Santa Paula Police Department. He was hired as a Santa Paula police officer in 2000. Hector has held several collateral duties such as gang and narcotics officer, field training officer, acting senior officer, SWAT team member and FBI Safe Streets Task Force. He was also a school resource officer which allowed him to work closely with school administrators, counselors, and educators guiding and mentoring children. Currently, Hector is assigned to the Detective Bureau investigating crimes against children, domestic violence, and sexual assault cases.
Property and Evidence Technician, Santa Paula Police Department
Jasmine Freeman was raised in Los Angeles and attended California State University, Long Beach where she received her Bachelor of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice. She was a victim advocate for the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force for three years while also volunteering for the Orange County's Crisis Response Team. Jasmine recently joined the Santa Paula Police Department as a property and evidence technician.
Victim Advocate Supervisor
Victim Advocate Supervisor Sandra Avila oversees staff in the District Attorney's Crime Victims' Assistance Unit and Family Justice Center. Aside from mentoring victim advocates she assists in organizing special events and outreach projects. Sandra has more than twenty years of experience working with victims and survivors. She also has extensive knowledge of restraining orders and working with the court system.
Forensic Scientist Christina Tokatlian works in the Forensic Biology/DNA section of the Ventura County Sheriff's Office, Forensic Services Bureau. During her career, she has worked on multiple serious crime cases including several sexual assaults. She also serves as the Local CODIS Administrator for Ventura County. In this position, she serves as the liaison between the county, the FBI, and the California Department of Justice. She manages all paperwork and training required for the laboratory to utilize the FBI's database for searching DNA profiles. In VCSAKI, Christina will oversee uploading DNA profiles to CODIS.