The Merced County District Attorney’s office will be recognizing the upcoming Victims’ Rights Week with featured speaker Marylene Riley, who lost both of her sons to violence in Merced County.
Victims’ Rights Week will be marked April 2 through 8. This year’s theme “Strength Resilience Justice,” emphasizes building the capacity of individuals, service providers, and communities to respond to crime and support the ongoing healing of victims and survivors, said Merced County District Attorney Larry D. Morse II.
“This ceremony is an important way to bring the families of crime victims together with law enforcement, victims’ advocates and the community to let them know we share their losses,” said Lisa DeSantis, victim witness coordinator for the district attorney’s office. “We are always there for them.”
Riley’s speech is set for noon April 6 at the Merced County Courthouse Park. Riley’s sons, Michael and Marlis, were killed 11 months apart; Michael on Oct. 7, 2008 and Marlis on Sept. 12, 2009. Following the loss of her sons, she started a scholarship fund through Merced College in their honor and has organized the annual Riley Brothers’ Victims Remembrance walk for her sons and other families who have lost loved ones in the Loughborough area of Merced.
DeSantis encourages participants to bring a photo of their loved one so it can be displayed on easels set up for the event. There will also be a time for participants to write a special message to their loved ones and tie it to a tree that was planted in remembrance of victims.