A Letter from District Attorney Gregory D. Totten
The Ventura County District Attorney’s Office has a rich tradition of excellence as a tough, no nonsense, law enforcement agency that pursues justice and safety with integrity. Today your District Attorney’s Office remains deeply committed to these core values even as we face extraordinary challenges and new crimes that were never imagined a half century ago.
Thankfully, our community is one of the safest in the nation and boasts several cities that regularly rank among Americas most desirable places to live. Yet we are not untouched by crime; thousands of crime victims walk through the doors of the District Attorney’s Office seeking help and justice, and prosecutors file tens of thousands of criminal cases against adult and juvenile offenders each year. We also confront dramatic changes in technology that affected both the nature of crime and our approach to solving and prosecuting cases.
We have enhanced our ability to address the ever-changing face of crime, particularly those crimes involving technology and identity theft. Unlike traditional street crime, computer crime hides in the anonymity of cyberspace and uses highly sophisticated technology to exploit our children, steal our identities, and threaten our economic well-being. Fortunately, state and local funding enables us to operate a high tech task force where specially trained district attorney investigators, police detectives and civilians use cutting-edge technology to find and apprehend these predators. Through agreements with local police agencies, the Sheriff’s Office and city governments, we have expanded the capabilities of this vital program to ensure that we are prepared to fight this most insidious crime.
While we celebrate the dedication and commitment of the members of this office, we also gratefully acknowledge the outstanding work of local law enforcement, the financial stewardship of the Board of Supervisors, and above all, the longstanding support of the community we serve. Please know that as your District Attorney I will continue to do my very best to preserve public trust in the justice system and protect the safety of all Ventura County residents.
Very truly yours,
GREGORY D. TOTTEN
Gregory D. Totten
Elected district attorney in March 2002, Greg Totten assumed office on November 1, 2002. He was re-elected to his fifth term in 2018.
A career prosecutor, Mr. Totten joined the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office in August 1982 as a law clerk. In December 1982, he was appointed Deputy District Attorney. Since that time, he has held trial assignments in all office divisions. Mr. Totten also served as Special Assistant to the District Attorney and supervisor of the Juvenile and Felony Divisions. In 1991, Mr. Totten was co-counsel on the successful prosecution of Gregory Scott Smith who abducted, sexually assaulted, and murdered an eight-year-old boy. Smith received the death penalty for this crime. Throughout his career, Mr. Totten has worked to protect public safety and to expand the rights of crime victims.
In November 1993, Mr. Totten was selected as Executive Director of the California District Attorneys Association. The association provides legislative representation and professional training for California prosecutors. As Executive Director, he managed the association’s training efforts and served as its chief spokesperson for legislative changes designed to better protect the citizens of California. Mr. Totten was also the founding Executive Director of the Institute for the Advancement of Criminal Justice.
He returned to the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office in July 1996 as Chief Deputy District Attorney. His responsibilities included: management oversight of the District Attorney’s Office budget, administration, criminal clerical support, child support, welfare fraud and child recovery operations. Mr. Totten became Chief Assistant District Attorney, the number two position in the District Attorney’s Office, in January 1999. In that role, he was responsible for the day-to-day management of the office and served as the District Attorney’s chief advisor and spokesperson on all significant policy and case decisions.
Mr. Totten earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from San Francisco State University in 1977 and his law degree from Pepperdine University School of Law in May 1982. He was admitted to the California State Bar in December 1982.
Mr. Totten has lectured at state and national prosecutor symposia and published numerous articles on a wide array of criminal justice topics including principle-centered leadership, elder abuse issues, gang strategies, contemporary trial issues, homicide prosecution techniques, asset forfeitures, and victim impact evidence in death penalty cases. He has provided extensive testimony before all major policy and fiscal committees of the California Legislature and numerous special hearings on criminal justice issues. He has served as a legal commentator on numerous local and national network news programs.
Among his professional activities, Mr. Totten serves as Vice-President of the National District Attorneys Association; he is a past President of the California District Attorneys Association and co-chairs the association’s Legislation Committee. Mr. Totten also served as President of the Institute for the Advancement of Criminal Justice, and is a co-chair of the CDAA Foundation Council for Criminal Justice Integrity. He also served on the California Commission on the Fair Administration of Justice. He is a member of the Pepperdine University School of Law Board of Advisors, and other community service organizations.
Mr. Totten and his wife Irene reside in Camarillo, California.
Cheryl M. Temple
Chief Assistant District Attorney
Cheryl Temple is a Southern California native, raised in Simi Valley. She graduated from the University of California at Santa Barbara in 1992, with a bachelor’s degree in Law and Society with an Emphasis in Criminal Justice. She obtained her Juris Doctor from Southwestern University School of Law in 1997.
Ms. Temple joined the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office in 1997 and spent the early part of her career handling a variety of misdemeanor cases, including driving under the influence, batteries, and petty thefts. In 1998, Ms. Temple was assigned to the Major Crimes Unit and spent ten years prosecuting dozens of defendants for a wide variety of homicide cases. She successfully convicted defendants charged with murders involving sexual assault, domestic violence, and multiple victims obtaining four death penalty sentences and life sentences for all other murder defendants.
Ms. Temple was promoted to supervise the General Felony Unit in 2009 where she managed a staff of 24 attorneys who prosecute theft, narcotics, robbery, burglary, and assault cases. The General Felony Unit handles over 2,000 cases a year and achieves an almost 90 percent conviction rate.
In 2009, Ms. Temple earned her Master of Law in Prosecutorial Science from Chapman University School of Law, where her master’s thesis focused on death penalty litigation. An abstract of her thesis, Decisions of Death and Jurisprudence, was published in the California Bar Association’s Criminal Law Journal.
In 2011, Ms. Temple was appointed to serve as Chief Deputy District Attorney of Special Prosecutions. Cheryl was reappointed to this assignment in 2018 after an extended time away to raise her two children. In this role, she oversaw a wide variety of white-collar and fraud-based offenses as well as consumer and environmental protection cases.
Ms. Temple was appointed Chief Assistant District Attorney in August 2019. She is second in charge in the office and oversees the day-to-day operations. She is also the Ventura County member of the multi-county team of prosecutors who are prosecuting the Golden State Killer, Joseph DeAngelo.
Kevin B. Drescher
Chief Deputy District Attorney
Kevin Drescher is a sixth-generation Californian, born and raised in Ventura. Mr. Drescher received his Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Thematic Minor in “Mexico Today” from Colorado College in 1991. At Colorado College he was a two-time Team Captain and MVP of the Varsity Baseball Team. In 1994, he received his Juris Doctorate from Pepperdine University School of Law and was admitted to the California State Bar. He was subsequently admitted to the Colorado State Bar in 1997.
Mr. Drescher joined the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office in 1994 and has been assigned to misdemeanors; domestic violence cases; writs, appeals and training; homicides; general felonies, serious and violent felonies and auto insurance fraud. Mr. Drescher handled and tried some of the most serious cases in the office, from capital murder to vehicular manslaughter. In 2000, he was promoted to the position of Senior Attorney. In April 2008, Mr. Drescher was promoted to Supervising Senior Deputy District Attorney. He has supervised the Major Fraud Unit, the General Felony Unit, and the Court Operations Unit.
Mr. Drescher was promoted to Chief Deputy District Attorney in August 2019. He oversees Special Prosecutions, which handles a variety of offenses including insurance fraud, other frauds, consumer and environmental protection, as well as the Juvenile Unit.
Michael K. Frawley
Chief Deputy District Attorney
Michael Frawley earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Notre Dame in 1982. Following graduation, he joined the Holy Cross Associates as a volunteer for one year and worked in Oakland, California, providing legal assistance to the indigent. In 1987, Mr. Frawley earned a law degree from McGeorge School of Law and joined the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office. He prosecuted a variety of misdemeanor offenses and completed special assignments in domestic violence. During this time, he also worked as a crisis line counselor at the Rape and Sexual Abuse Center of Ventura County.
Mr. Frawley was next assigned to the Sexual Assault/Career Criminal Prosecution Unit, where he prosecuted career criminals, habitual offenders, child molestation cases, adult sexual assault cases, and felony spousal abuse cases. In 1992, Mr. Frawley became supervisor of the Misdemeanor Unit. The unit typically handles over 25,000 cases a year.
In 1993, Mr. Frawley was assigned to the Major Crimes Unit to prosecute homicides and major offenses. Mr. Frawley has prosecuted numerous murder cases, including six death penalty cases. In 1998, Mr. Frawley was appointed Chief Deputy District Attorney of Special Prosecutions, where he managed prosecutions of juveniles, insurance fraud, welfare fraud, major fraud, environmental, and consumer protection cases. Starting in 2002, Mr. Frawley was Chief Deputy District Attorney of Criminal Prosecutions, a division that handles nearly 30,000 cases per year, including sexual assault, domestic violence, elder abuse, robberies, burglaries, and driving under the influence cases. He currently oversees the Sexual Assault/Family Protection Unit, Human Trafficking, the Misdemeanor Unit, Fiscal/Administrative/Legislative Services, Information Technology, and Legal Support Staff.
W. Charles Hughes
Chief Deputy District Attorney
Charles Hughes earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from University of California Los Angeles in 1988 and his Juris Doctorate from the University of California Los Angeles’ School of Law in 1991. He was admitted to the California State Bar in December 1991.
In 19 years as a prosecutor, Mr. Hughes has handled a wide variety of cases. Having originally joined the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office in 1994, Mr. Hughes prosecuted cases in the following units: General Felony Trials, Drugs, Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault / Family Protection, Public Integrity and Homicide.
For five years, Mr. Hughes also taught Trial Practice at the California Southern School of Law. In 2005, Mr. Hughes moved into management at the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office. After joining the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office in 2011, Mr. Hughes was appointed Chief Deputy District Attorney of Administrative Services in 2012.
He is currently Chief Deputy District Attorney of Justice Services with duties including supervision of Writs, Appeals & Training, supervision of the Public Integrity Unit, serving as the Conviction Integrity Deputy, enforcing the Ralph M. Brown Act (public meeting law), handling peace officer misconduct issues under Brady v. Maryland, and handling special projects.
Michael R. Jump
Chief Deputy District Attorney
Michael Jump earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1993, a Master’s in Environmental Science and Juris Doctorate from Indiana University, Bloomington in 1998. In 1998, Mr. Jump accepted a land & resources attorney position, assisting Alaska Natives with resources planning, management and dispute resolution.
In 2000, Mr. Jump joined the District Attorney’s Office as a grant writer, securing tens of millions of dollars in competitive grants for the District Attorney’s Office and helping to establish the Safe Harbor multidisciplinary interview centers, which provide trauma-informed forensic medico-legal exams to sexual assault and child abuse victims. In 2003, Mr. Jump was sworn in as a Deputy District Attorney and served as a trial prosecutor conducting numerous preliminary hearings, misdemeanor, felony, and serious and violent felony trials.
Mr. Jump served as Director of the office’s Fiscal, Administrative and Legislative Services operations from 2006 to 2015, combining his legal and administrative skills to manage the District Attorney’s budgetary, contractual, human resources, personnel, facilities, and legislative matters.
Mr. Jump was appointed Chief Deputy District Attorney of Victim and Community Services in 2015. In this role, Mr. Jump led the development of the first-ever Family Justice Center in Ventura County and oversees the Office’s Crime Victims’ Assistance Program, the Safe Harbor multidisciplinary interview centers, and Camp HOPE, which collectively provide nearly 20,000 services to crime victims each year. The Family Justice Center is a multi-agency partnership between local government and community-based organizations integrating services at one location for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse, elder abuse, dependent adult abuse and human trafficking.
Mr. Jump currently serves as a board member of the California Crime Victims’ Assistance Association, is chair of numerous local committees, and a member of the Community Corrections Partnership–Ventura County, representing victims’ rights and interests.
R. Miles Weiss
Chief Deputy District Attorney
Miles Weiss joined the office in 1994 after graduating from the University of San Diego School of Law. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1989.
As a trial attorney, Mr. Weiss prosecuted a variety of cases, including DUI, general felonies, violent sex crimes and gang crimes. As a Senior Deputy District Attorney, Mr. Weiss has served as supervisor of the Sexual Assault / Family Protection Unit and the Juvenile Prosecution Unit. He has also been assigned to the Major Crimes Unit where he tried several homicide cases.
At the direction of the District Attorney in 2005, Mr. Weiss implemented Ventura County’s Real Estate Fraud Prosecution Program. This program serves as a statewide model and has received grants totaling more than $2 million to combat real estate fraud on behalf of victims. Mr. Weiss is a founding member of the Real Estate Fraud Advisory Team (REFAT), a non-profit group of industry professionals that collaborates to reduce real estate fraud in their communities.
In 2012, Mr. Weiss was promoted to Chief Deputy District Attorney of Special Prosecutions. In his current position as Chief Deputy District Attorney of Criminal Prosecutions, he directly supervises the Homicide, Gang and Narcotics prosecutors, and oversees the General Trials and Court Operations Units.
Chief Mike Baray is a 31-year veteran of law enforcement. Prior to his appointment as District Attorney Chief Investigator in September 2013, he served as Chief of Police of the Murrieta Police Department in Murrieta, California. Chief Baray was with the Murrieta Police Department since its inception in 1992 and was the first police chief appointed from within the department’s ranks.
Prior to joining the Murrieta Police Department, he was a detective and police officer with the Long Beach Police Department for 10 years. Chief Baray has more than a decade of law enforcement management experience, having held the rank of captain, lieutenant, and sergeant before becoming chief of police.
Chief Baray also has extensive investigative experience, having been assigned to the Career Criminal Violent Offender Surveillance Unit and the Homicide Bureau in Long Beach, California, where he investigated homicides, gang crimes, and narcotics offenses.
In addition, Chief Baray has investigated crimes against persons, property crimes, officer-involved shooting incidents, and sex offender registration compliance. He was a member of the S.W.A.T. Team in both Long Beach and Murrieta.
|Major Crimes||Stacy Ratner||Supervising Attorney||805-654-3324|
|Court Operations||Rachelle Dean||Supervising Attorney||805-654-5175|
|General Trials||Tom Dunlevy||Supervising Attorney||805-654-3781|
|Sexual Assault / Family Protection||Brent Nibecker||Supervising Attorney||805-654-5186|
|Misdemeanors||David Russell||Supervising Attorney||805-654-2516|
|Workers Compensation Fraud • Auto Insurance Fraud •
Major Fraud • Consumer & Environmental Protection •
Asset Forfeiture • Code Enforcement • Fish & Game
|Dominic Kardum||Supervising Attorney||805-662-1750|
|Child Abduction & Recovery||Kathy LaSalle||Senior Attorney||805-662-1712|
|Juvenile||Rebecca Day||Supervising Attorney||805-981-5861|
|Consumer Mediation • Small Claims||805-654-3110
|Bureau of Investigation|
|Criminal Operations||Tom Mendez||Commander||805-477-1690|
|Special Operations||Chris Brackpool||Commander||805-477-1642|
|Government Fraud||Chris Brackpool||Commander||805-477-1642|
|Fiscal Administrative Services||Stuart T. Gardner||Director||805-477-1635|
|Information Technology||Gene Mecagni||Director||805-654-5199|
|Legal Support Services||Linda Vivian||Director||805-654-3005|
|Writs, Appeals & Training||Charles Hughes||Chief Deputy||805-654-2719|
|Conviction Integrity||Charles Hughes||Chief Deputy||805-654-2719|
|Victim & Community Services|
|Crime Victims’ Assistance||Dina Zuhric||Supervisor||805-654-2776|