David LaBahn


Mr. David LaBahn is President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys (APA), a national association representing elected and deputy or assistant prosecutors, and city attorneys. The association acts as a global forum for the exchange of ideas, allowing prosecutors to collaborate with all criminal justice partners, and conducts timely and effective training and technical assistance to improve the prosecutorial function. In addition, APA serves as an advocate for prosecutors on emerging issues related to the administration of justice, development of partnerships and implementation of problem-solving strategies.  

Beth Merachnik


Beth Merachnik serves as Deputy Director of the Association of Prosecuting Attorney’s (APA) Child Abuse Prosecution Project. Ms. Merachnik is the former Director of APA’s Smart Prosecution Project. She is a former prosecutor from Massachusetts having served for over twenty years in both the Middlesex County District Attorney’s Office and the Office of the Attorney General.  Ms. Merachnik prosecuted a wide variety of cases during her career at the District Attorney’s office, including crimes of homicide, sexual assault and child abuse and held the position Director of the Middlesex Domestic Violence Unit for over four years. Ms. Merachnik served at the Office of the Attorney General, first as the Chief of the Community-Based Justice Bureau and then Senior Counsel and Trial Attorney in the Criminal Bureau. She can reached at

Mary Sawicki


Mary, a 23-year veteran of the Worcester County, Massachusetts District Attorney’s Office comes to us from the Suffolk Law School where she was a Practitioner in Residence. Mary also served as a Senior Attorney in the National Center for Prosecution of Child Abuse and has extensive experience in providing training and technical assistance to child abuse prosecutors and their teams. Mary can be reached at

Ursula Donofrio


The position of Training Director is held by Ursula Donofrio, who will be responsible for assisting the senior attorney staff in curriculum development and conference planning. As former Training Director for the California District Attorney’s Association, Ursula brings 25 years of experience to the Child Abuse Prosecution Project. Ursula can be reached at

Aimee Peterson


Aimee Peterson serves as the Child Abuse Prosecution Project Program Assistant. Aimee holds a B.A. from St. Johns University in Government and Politics and comes to the project from the Department of Homeland Security, where she worked as the Executive Assistant to the Director of Strategy, Policy and Budget division of Infrastructure Protection. Aimee also brings experience working in the non-profit sector previously holding positions at the National Sheriffs’ Association and the School Superintendents Association. Aimee can be reached at