Crimes Against Children Division
The Collin County Criminal District Attorney’s Office includes a specialized division devoted exclusively to the prosecution of cases involving the sexual and physical abuse of children. The felony prosecutors, investigators, and support staff assigned to this Division have extensive training and experience in the preparation and trial of cases involving crimes against children.
These prosecutors and staff understand the potential emotional and psychological effects on victims and their families resulting from the abuse itself, as well as from the judicial process. Therefore, every effort is made to minimize further trauma while obtaining justice in each case. In order to help children and their families feel more comfortable, prosecutors meet with each child and his or her family prior to the presentation of the case to the grand jury. During this meeting, the prosecutor can explain the judicial process, in age-appropriate terms if necessary, and answer questions. Contact between the prosecutor and victim will continue after a case is indicted and assigned to a district court in order to update the victim and family of any plea negotiations and to prepare for trial, if necessary.
The Collin County Criminal District Attorney’s Office partners with the Children’s Advocacy Center of Collin County (CACCC) (www.cacplano.org). The CACCC uses a multi-disciplinary approach involving law enforcement and the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services in the criminal and civil investigation of child abuse. Prosecutors, investigators, and support staff in the Criminal District Attorney’s Office work with the members of the multi-disciplinary team, which includes law enforcement officers who investigate the cases, professionals who interview the children, medical personnel and therapists who treat the victims, and the victims’ families. This approach provides an effective method to provide safety, healing, and justice to those children who have been victimized by abuse and neglect.
Crystal Levonius, Chief of the Crimes Against Children Division, graduated in 1995 with a Bachelor of Arts in Government from New Mexico State University. She earned her Juris Doctorate in two years from Southwestern University School of Law in 1999 as part of the University’s SCALE program. While a law student, she was a member of the Trial Advocacy Honors Program and interned in the Crimes Against Peace Officer’s Section of the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. Upon completion of law school, she passed bar exams in Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. After graduating, Ms. Levonius worked as a civil attorney. Since joining the Office in April 2004, Ms. Levonius has served in the Misdemeanor Trial Division as a court chief and as a trial prosecutor in the Felony Trial Division.
Crystal Levonius - Ext. 3659; firstname.lastname@example.org
Shannon Miller received her Bachelor of Arts from Sam Houston State University in 1996 and her Juris Doctorate from South Texas College of Law in 2001. Ms. Miller served as a prosecutor for the Brazoria County District Attorney’s Office in both the misdemeanor and felony trial divisions from March 2002 to October 2006. In November 2006, she joined the Collin County Criminal District Attorney’s Office, where she has served as a misdemeanor court chief and a felony prosecutor. Ms. Miller joined the Crimes Against Children Division in February 2008, where she uses her trial skills and passion for justice to protect child victims of crime.
Janet Cook graduated from Texas Tech School of Law in 1981. She began her legal career as an Assistant District Attorney working for legendary Henry Wade. She tried nearly 150 jury trials as a prosecutor, from DWI cases to murder. Janet chose to leave the District Attorney's office to stay home full time and raise her 3 children. During that time she volunteered at the public schools, tutored children in math and reading, and worked as a substitute teacher for children with special needs. Janet's return to the courtroom came in 1999 when she was hired as a felony defense attorney by the Dallas County Public Defender's office. She was immediately back in front of juries defending indigent clients charged with felony cases such as murder, aggravated robbery, kidnapping, aggravated assault, and sexual assault. In 2003 Janet decided to take on a new challenge when she began working for the Dallas County Criminal District Judges as the Senior Staff attorney. Her duties included advising the felony judges on evidentiary matters and preparing court documents. After 3 years away from litigating cases, Janet was ready to return to the Public Defender's office to represent indigent defendants charged with felonies. She was a supervisor of several felony trial attorneys and mentored new attorneys. Janet returned to prosecuting cases when she joined the Collin County District Attorney's office in January 2011. She is assigned to the Crimes against Children Division.
Claire Miranda received her undergraduate degree in creative writing and music from the University of Arizona in 1999 and her Juris Doctorate from Southern Methodist University’s Dedman School of Law in 2002. Prior to joining the Collin County Criminal District Attorney’s Office, Ms. Miranda was a civil insurance defense and transportation litigator in Dallas, Texas. In 2005, Ms. Miranda was named a Texas Rising Star by Law & Politics magazine as published by Texas Monthly, and she has practiced criminal law as both a prosecutor and a defense attorney.
Kenny Newton began his law enforcement career in 1987. His duties have included patrol and tactical entry. Investigator Newton joined the Collin County Criminal District Attorney’s Office in December 2004 and now serves as a felony investigator in the Crimes Against Children Division.
Gregory Bowers joined the Collin County District Attorney's Office in July 2011. Investigator Bowers has more than twenty-two years experience in law enforcement and holds Master Peace Officer and Instructor's Certification. He was previously employed by the Odessa Police Department and by the Rowlett Police Department. During his career, Bowers has worked as a patrol officer, field training officer, back ground investigator, narcotics K-9 handler, academy instructor, bike patrol officer, negotiator, burglary detective, and as a narcotics / vice detective. Bowers completed an assignment as a task force officer to the DEA where he conducted undercover operations and investigated drug trafficking organizations. Bowers also completed an assignment as a task force officer to ICE where he worked financial crimes and cartel related offenses.
Sandy Schilling has been with the Collin County Criminal District Attorney’s Office since October 1996. She has served as a felony secretary to the Crimes Against Children Division since September 2006.