A Legacy of Excellence
Past Middlesex District Attorneys Gerry Leone, Tom Reilly, Martha Coakley, and Scott Harshbarger.
The Middlesex District Attorney's Office has a proud legacy of outstanding service to the people of Middlesex County.
This legacy continues with newly appointed District Attorney Marian T. Ryan, a 34 year veteran of the Middlesex District Attorney's Office. DA Ryan was named Middlesex District Attorney on April 23, 2013 by Governor Deval Patrick. She has risen through the ranks of the office, serving under five different District Attorneys, as a District Court supervisor, a Superior Court trial team captain, and as the Chief of the Domestic Violence and Elder/Disabled Units. Most recently, she has served as General Counsel and Chief of the Elder and Disabled Unit under former District Attorney Gerry Leone.
From the successful prosecutions of some our state's most dangerous criminals to the innovative and effective crime prevention programs that have been initiated by the office, the Middlesex District Attorney's Office has been a national leader in its efforts to protect and serve the public. Recently, a publication of Lawyers Weekly compiled a list of the Ten Most Notorious criminals in Massachusetts. Of those ten, the Middlesex District Attorney's office successfully prosecuted and convicted six of those defendants, including Louise Woodward, Eddie O'Brien, and Richard Rosenthal.
The DA's office has been about much more than prosecuting high-profile murder cases. The office has worked to successfully take drugs and guns off the streets, and has prosecuted thousands of cases on behalf of victims of child, domestic and sexual abuse.
The office has a strong tradition of implementing innovative crime prevention efforts as well. In the 1980s, then-District Attorney Scott Harshbarger saw the wisdom in partnering with schools to help promote crime prevention to young people. He formed the innovative Project Alliance program as a way to prevent young people from a life of crime and violence.
During a wave of gang and school-based violence in the early 1990s, then-District Attorney Thomas F. Reilly established the Community-Based Justice program, bringing together school personnel, public safety professionals, and social service providers in each community to help identify at-risk kids and provide them with the positive alternatives to steer them away from crime and violence. CBJ became a national model for violence prevention in our schools, and the programs flourish to this day in communities throughout the entire Commonwealth, now being mandated by the legislature.
Attorney General Martha Coakley succeeded Reilly as District Attorney and built on his legacy, helping establish the Middlesex Partnerships for Youth, Inc., a non-profit organization committed to providing prevention and intervention resources and training to Middlesex school districts and communities. Middlesex Partnerships for Youth has hosted hundreds of workshops and training seminars for law enforcement, social service providers, educators and students to help foster an atmosphere of respect and safety for Middlesex youth.
Former District Attorney Gerard T. Leone Jr. continued to build on that legacy, creating a number of new partnerships and programs to keep people safe. With students confronting safety challenges at earlier and earlier ages, District Attorney Leone expanded school-based prevention initiatives — including anti-bullying trainings, Internet Safety strategies, and Community-Based Justice programs — beyond the high schools and into our middle schools. Leone also created the office's first-ever Cyber Protection Program, a team of highly-qualified prosecutors and investigators to combat Internet and other cyber crimes against children and families. His office has launched a new partnership with hospitals throughout the county to educate every parent of a newborn child to prevent instances of Shaken Baby Syndrome. And after identifying a significant gap in the way that victims of domestic violence were served, he announced a first-of-its-kind partnership with private law firms to provide pro bono legal services to victims during the restraining order process. He also hosts an annual "PSA" Contest for high school students in which they are asked to submit a public service announcement on a timely topic. The contest has proven to be an effective way to encourage dialog amongst teens on important issues such as teen-dating violence and impaired driving.
District Attorney Marian T. Ryan continues the office's tradition of prosecution, crime-prevention and community-based initiatives.