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National Crime Victim Law Institute

2017 Victims’ Rights Partnership Award

May 04, 2017

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New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic & Sexual Violence

Cyrus ‘Rus’ Rilee

Claudia J. Bayliff

2017 Victims’ Rights Partnership Award

NCVLI’s Victims’ Rights Partnership Award recognizes the collaborative efforts of individuals and/or organizations who have devoted their time to advancing crime victims’ rights.

In June 2016, the New Hampshire Supreme Court issued a ruling in a high profile rape-murder case that shocked the victim’s family, stunned the victims’ rights community, and undermined New Hampshire’s rape shield law. With only five days to respond, the victim’s family, the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, local New Hampshire civil attorney Cyrus (Rus) Rilee, and national expert Claudia J. Bayliff mobilized to challenge the court’s order.

 

The mission of the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence is to create safe and just communities through advocacy, prevention and empowerment of anyone affected by sexual violence, domestic violence and stalking. The mission is accomplished by the Coalition, which includes 13 independent community-based member programs, a Board of Directors and a central staff working together. At the helm of this amazing organization is Executive Director Lyn Schollett.  The Coalition’s work on the case ranged from online and media advocacy to litigation to legislative initiatives.  The team that made it happen included Lyn Schollett, Amanda Grady Sexton, Jessica Eskeland and Karin Ashton.

 

Representing the family in this case was Cyrus (Rus) Rilee.  Rus Rilee is a seasoned trial attorney who has practiced law for over 15 years, with a primary focus in plaintiff personal injury litigation. Rus’ practice includes working on sexual abuse, wrongful death and other catastrophic injury cases.

 

Drafting a national amici curiae brief was Claudia Bayliff.  Claudia Bayliff is an attorney and educator with 29 years of experience working on issues related to sexual assault. For 17 years, she created educational materials about sexual violence and educated judges, prosecutors, law enforcement, victim advocates, medical personnel and other professionals across the country about these issues. Joining Claudia was an amazing team including Steven F. Hyde, Esq. Coakley & Hyde, PLLC; Kelly Dixon, Esq.; Navneet Jaswal, Attorney at Law; Caren M. Sempel, J.D., M. Antonia E. Bird, Law Student; and Renae Vanwijk, Law Student.