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2013 Award Winners

Advocate of the Year

Dotti Groover-Skipper persists with an unflagging determination to expose the horror of human trafficking and to free the children and young men and women hopelessly trapped in a world many are unaware even exists. She has worked tirelessly to bring awareness through community events, educational forums, establishment of county workgroups and advocating on behalf of victims in front of the state legislature.  

Dotti founded the HeartDance Foundation and serves on the Hillsborough County Commission on the Status of Women, chair of the Community Campaign against Human Trafficking, chair of the Tampa Sex Trafficking Collaborative and is a dedicated supporter of Redefining Refuge and Bridging Freedom.

Prosecutor of the Year

Stacie B. Harris, Assistant United States Attorney, has prosecuted most of the child sex trafficking cases in the Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division. She unrelentingly pursues prosecution in an effort to obtain justice for victims and their families while working tirelessly to facilitate the recovery and healing process for victims so they can move forward and lead healthy, successful lives. 

Stacie most notably prosecuted Weylin O. Rodriguez (United States v. Rodriguez) in which Rodriguez was   sentenced to life plus a consecutive five years’ imprisonment. Rodriguez is one of only 10 defendants in the country and the first in Florida to be sentenced to life on a sex trafficking charge.

Law Enforcement Official of the Year

Sergeant Patrick Guckian has been a critical stakeholder against the horrible crime of human trafficking — investigating and arresting the traffickers and pimps in addition to diligently leading, teaching, developing strategies and coordinating social service organizations to ensure victim rescue and recovery.  Sergeant Guckian has taken the lead within the law enforcement community and made it his mission to train law enforcement on the best practices in recognizing  and investigating human sex trafficking offenses.

As a direct result of Sergeant Guckian’s pro-active training, 2013 has been a banner year for the rescue of   juveniles and adults from the life of forced sex trafficking. Of the many rescues, Sergeant Guckian or those directly trained by him, have rescued six juveniles from forced prostitution over the last year, the youngest of which was 14 years old.