MACA 2024 Annual Conference Presenters

Workshop Session One (10:30 AM – 12:00 PM)

1a. Pediatric and Adolescent Non-fatal Strangulation
Cynthia Moore, NP, Samantha Dias, MSW, LCSW, Andrew Giarolo, J.D.

Cynthia Moore, MSN, RN, CPNP, AFN-BC is currently the Clinical Coordinator for the Massachusetts Pediatric Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Program (SANE). She is a pediatric nurse practitioner and is certified as an Advanced Forensic Nurse by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. Cynthia is a Pediatric SANE and Adult/Adolescent SANE in Massachusetts. Cynthia formerly served as the Education and Outreach Coordinator for the National TeleNursing Center as well as the Acting Medical Director of the Child Protection Team at Boston Medical Center. She was also a Clinical Instructor at Boston University School of Medicine. She has worked in the field of child abuse and child protection, for the last 23 years. She has lectured locally, nationally, and internationally, providing training and education to law enforcement, medical and nursing staff, social workers, community agencies, and many other disciplines.

Andrew Giarolo has been an Assistant District Attorney with the Berkshire County District Attorney’s Office since 2013. In his current position, Mr. Giarolo is assigned to the Child Abuse Unit. He serves as the primary investigator during forensic interviews of child victims, coordinating a multidisciplinary team of professionals, to minimize trauma to the child while maximizing the collection of necessary evidence. Andrew was previously assigned to the Special Victims Unit, investigating and prosecuting crimes against the elderly and disabled persons. He has served as a coach for the Williams College Moot Court since 2013 and is also the Head Class Agent for Williams College since 2019.

Samantha Dias, MSW, LCSW is currently the lead forensic interviewer for the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office and has worked with the Children’s Advocacy Center of Bristol County since 2015. In her time as an interviewer, Samantha has interviewed over 1,500 children and adults with disabilities and has attended multiple advanced trainings in the field. Samantha has begun testifying as an expert witness in court cases. In 2022, Samantha was matched with NEADS assistance dog Chief, who now joins her in interviews to support victims of abuse.

1b. Trafficking Risk Factors for Migrant Youth
Sofie Suter, LSW, Brianna Breuer, MA, Henry Chavez

Sofie Suter was born in Switzerland and immigrated to the US at age 10. After learning English, she studied French and Spanish and pursued migration studies at the US-Mexico border. Upon completing a MA in International and Organizational Conflict Resolution with a thesis focusing on trust and power dynamics between migrants and coyotes at the Mexico-US border, she worked with children from Thailand, Ghana, Spain, Mexico, China and resided in Switzerland, France, Ghana, India, and Mexico. Sofie has been a part of the Unaccompanied Children’s Program at the International Institute of New England for over 8 years.

Brianna Breuer is the Community Outreach and Education Coordinator for the Unaccompanied Children’s Program at the International Institute of New England. She trains and educates community organizations throughout New England and New York on the backgrounds and needs of the unaccompanied youth that they serve. Prior to joining IINE, Brianna earned her master’s in Applied Linguistics from UMass Boston, and spent the greater part of a decade teaching English to multilingual learners in grades K-6.

Henry Chavez was born in Peru, South America. He arrived in the United States at the age of fifteen and his family moved to Braintree, MA. He obtained his bachelor’s in Human Services and master’s in Business Administration at the University of Massachusetts Boston. As an immigrant, he is passionate about helping immigrant communities integrate into a diverse society. He first joined the International Institute of New England as an intern in the Unaccompanied Children Program (UCP) for the summer and fall of 2020. Henry worked as a case manager for the UC program from May 2021 until he started his new role as regional supervisor in January 2023. As a case manager for the UC program, Henry has connected and referred families to mental health services, youth programs, school enrollment, and health insurance applications to assist with integrating unaccompanied children into the communities.

1c. Empirically Based Prosecution for Youth with Problematic Sexual Behaviors
Paul Stern

Paul Stern was a prosecutor for 35 years, the last 32 of those for Snohomish County, in Everett, Washington. (He retired in September 2016.) For those 32 years, he handled predominately cases of sexual assault, crimes against children, homicides, domestic violence, and the commitment of sexually violent predators. He tried nearly 200 felony cases. Mr. Stern served on the Board of Directors for the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children (APSAC) for six years and on the Board of the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers (ATSA) for three years. He served on the advisory boards of both the community-based and the prison-based sexual offender treatment programs in Washington State. He was an advisor to the DSM-5 Committee on Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders. Mr. Stern has lectured on issues regarding the prosecution of cases of interpersonal violence in 37 states, 8 countries and provided training to the FBI, the Scottish Police College, and the South African Police Service, among others.

He has taught college classes on Crimes Against Children and Crimes of Interpersonal Violence. He has written more than 20 articles, 3 book chapters, and a book on expert witnesses (Preparing and Presenting Expert Testimony in Child Abuse Litigation, published by Sage in 1997). He also wrote a manual for the Prosecution of Sexual Assault Cases in 1997, dealing predominately with assaults on adult victims, and a Monograph entitled An Empirically Based Approach for Prosecuting Juvenile Sex Crimes, published in 2017.

1d. Kids, Cases, and Consequences: Child Sexual Abuse Reported to the Criminal Legal System
Stephanie D. Block, Ph.D.

Dr. Stephanie Block is Associate Professor in Applied Developmental Psychology at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell. Dr. Block earned her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology at the University of California, Davis and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill’s Center for Developmental Science. Her research focuses on child maltreatment and encompasses her training in both developmental and applied science, as well as public health. Dr. Block’s work focuses on children in the legal system, the effect of trauma on children’s wellbeing and memory for emotional events, and the prevention of child maltreatment. Her recent work was funded by the National Institute of Justice and examined prosecutorial decisions in cases of child sexual abuse.

Dr. Block is an American Psychological Association (APA) fellow, President of APA’s Division 37, the Society for Child and Family Policy and Practice, former President of Division 37’s Section on Child Maltreatment, and an editorial board member of the journal Child Maltreatment. She also serves on the Board of Directors for the Massachusetts Children’s Alliance and has trained judges, social workers, and other professionals on topics related to child welfare. She has taught at UMass Lowell since Fall 2011, contributing to Psychology’s undergraduate and graduate courses, the Honors College, and serving as the faculty adviser to the NAVIGATORS club—a student club she co-founded in 2011 to help students who need additional support “navigate” college.

1e. Hitting Reset: Addressing Gaming with Those Who Sexually Harm Others
Dr. David Delmonico, LPC, Dr. Steve Kuniak, LPC

Dr. Delmonico is a professor of Counseling at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is an expert on issues related to online sexual behavior and the psychology of the Internet. Dr. Delmonico has written several books and numerous articles on these topics.

Dr. Kuniak is a professor at Lock Haven University in Pennsylvania. He is an expert in mental health and gaming among both adolescents and adults. He started a non-profit organization called "Experience Points" to help individuals better understand and use gaming in a healthy way.

Workshop Session Two (1:15 PM – 2:45 PM)

2a. Treatment work with Black Girls: The Impact of Adultification, Racial Trauma, and Systems on Their Well-Being and Treatment Needs
Dr. Tyffani Monford Dent

Dr. Tyffani Monford Dent is a licensed psychologist, trainer, and author. Her primary areas of interest are sexual violence prevention and intervention on the continuum, the role of intersectionality in the lives of Black and Brown girls and women, racial trauma & radical healing, social justice work within the mental health profession, and culturally informed work with those within the juvenile justice and child welfare systems.

2b. Massachusetts Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force
Lt. Jeff Perry, Sgt. Matt Prescott

Lieutenant Perry is a 22-year law enforcement veteran with 18 of those years as a member of the Massachusetts State Police. Lt. Perry has spent much of his State Police career in the Division of Investigative Services and the Division of Homeland Security & Preparedness. As a Trooper, Lt. Perry had been assigned to the State Police Detective Unit – Worcester as a death investigator with a concentration on computer related crimes. In 2014, Lt. Perry was assigned to the Cyber Crime Unit as a member of the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force focusing on technology-based sexual exploitation of children. Lt. Perry has previously served as the Station Commander of the Athol Barracks and the Unit Commander of the Technical Services Unit before his assignment as the Cyber Crime Unit/Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Commander.

Sergeant Matthew Prescott has served in Massachusetts law enforcement since 1999. He has been assigned to the State Police Detective Unit of Worcester County since 2011 and was promoted to Sergeant in 2019. Since 2022, he has served on the Massachusetts Statewide Police Cyber Crime Unit, a division of Homeland Security.

2c. Hitting Reset: Addressing Gaming with Those Who Sexually Harm Others
(Please refer to workshop 1e for presenter information)

2d. Addressing Recantation in Domestic Violence and Child Abuse Cases
Kristina Korobov, J.D.

Kristina Korobov is a Senior Attorney with Zero Abuse Project. She joined the team in July 2023. She brings over 20 years of experience as a Prosecutor and Trainer in the areas of crimes against children and crimes of sexual and domestic violence against adults.

Most recently, Kristina served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana. There, she was the Project Safe Childhood Coordinator, prosecuting cases involving internet crimes against children and sex trafficking of minors. These prosecutions included sextortion, child solicitation, and hands-on offenses, as well as crimes involving trafficking in child sexual abuse material. She worked cases with the Indiana Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and served as the co-chair for the state’s anti-trafficking task force (IPATH).

Kristina has been training on a national and international level since 2003 and formerly served as a Senior Attorney for the National Center for the Prosecution of Violence Against Women (NCPVAW), a division of the National District Attorney’s Association (NDAA) in Alexandria, VA. There, Kristina trained multi-disciplinary audiences at the national, regional, state, and local levels, covering subjects involving violence against women and crimes against children, as well as witness intimidation, trial advocacy, gang prosecutions, and homicide cases. She also trained internationally and has presented training on tribal lands.

2e. CE-CERT: A New Paradigm for Addressing Secondary Traumatic Stress, Moral Distress, and Burnout in Child Abuse Professionals
Jimmy Widdifield, Jr.

Jimmy Widdifield, Jr., MA, (he/him) is a Licensed Professional Counselor (Oklahoma) and training and technical assistance (TTA) provider in child maltreatment, trauma, and adversity. He is the Project Director for the TTA Grant for Child Abuse Professionals at the National Children’s Advocacy Center.

Workshop Session Three (3:00 PM – 4:30 PM)

3a. Identifying, Recognizing and ‘Working With’ Bias in the Investigative and MDT Process
Renee Roman, LMSW

Renee Roman, LMSW has over thirty years of experience in the field. She is currently employed as a Consultant and Senior Trainer. For 20 years Ms. Roman served as the Executive Director of a Child Advocacy Center. Aside from her clinical and administrative experience, Ms. Roman functioned as the primary Forensic Interviewer for the agency. Ms. Roman continues to train in the NCA-approved New York State Forensic Interviewing Curriculum. Ms. Roman is a Senior Trainer in Problematic Sexual Behavior – Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Adolescents (PSB-CBT-A), a Senior Leader Facilitator and a Within Agency Trainer for this model. She consults with the military on PSB. She has presented locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally on topics related to her practice. Ms. Roman is the Program Facilitator and trainer in the Sexual Abuse Dynamic Training (SADIT) and Brief Interview Training for Foster Care and Prevention Workers with Fordham University.

3b. Crafting Assistance for Underrepresented Groups: One Survivor's Journey
Jose Alfaro

Jose is a Lived Experience Expert and advocate who currently works as an anti-trafficking advocate and consultant. His work centers on the domestic trafficking of minors, members of the LGBTQIA+ community, and males. He has worked with anti-trafficking organizations from around the world and currently serves on the board of directors for The Human Trafficking Legal Center and Heal Trafficking. He has been featured in several publications and has worked with many agencies globally, including DHS, NCMEC, UK Border Force, and the DOJ, to aid them in refining their current practices. He is a part of the US White House Advisory Council on Human Trafficking.

3c. Promoting Safe and Stable Families while Enhancing Community-Based Services
José F. Monteiro, Daniel Lewis

José has been the Director for Community and Family Engagement at the Department of Children and Families for the past 8 years. He has a bachelor’s degree from UMass Amherst and a master’s in clinical psychology from Cambridge College. He served 25 years in the US Army. For 15 years, he was the Coordinator for Children's Services with the Department of Mental Health at Brockton Multi-Service Center. As the current Director for Family Engagement, he oversees all the prevention work for DCF, including the Family Resource Centers, Community Connections Coalitions, Nurturing Fathers programs, Grandparents Raising Grandchildren, and the Family Advisory Committee.

Daniel Lewis is a Community & Family Support Manager for the Department of Children & Families. He serves as managing staff of the Family Advisory Committee, the Inter-Agency Fatherhood Workgroup, and Commissioner on the Commission on the Status of Grandparents Raising Grandchildren. A Graduate of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Daniel is a recent graduate of the Executive Office of Health and Human Services Senior Leadership Program at Suffolk University.

3d. Victim Considerations in Sextortion Cases
Kristina Korobov, J.D,

(Please refer to workshop 2d for presenter information)

3e. Calling All Allies! Developing Affirming Services for LGBTQ+ Children and Teens
Jimmy Widdifield, Jr.

(Please refer to workshop 2e for presenter information)