Ms. Ahearn is one of the country's most accomplished and respected sex crime victim and community advocates. She has fought for tens of thousands of victims for over 20 years in criminal and family courts and has experience in the federal court system. She is an Attorney, a Social Worker and has over 20 years of experience working with over 30,000 victims of violent crime including over 6,000 sex crimes victims - both children and adults as a victim advocate. She is also the democratic candidate for New York State Senate District 1.
Ms. Ahearn continues to bring justice to male and female victims of Priest Sexual Abuse, Teacher Abuse, Coach Abuse, Boy Scout Abuse and other youth sports victims of sexual abuse who reside across the United States from New York to Alaska and from North Dakota to Texas.
She also has experience preparing and maximizing Catholic Church Compensation Settlement Program Claims and has provided legal representation to clergy abuse victims in all New York Dioceses, in Pennsylvania Dioceses, in New Jersey Dioceses and in California Dioceses.
Ms. Ahearn has assisted in the drafting of and supported local, state, and federal legislation aimed at strengthening laws to protect our most vulnerable and broaden crime victim's and community rights. She was invited to the White House Rose Garden for a bill signing ceremony on legislation she assisted in crafting. She is heavily relied upon to provide accurate, factual and pertinent information to educate the community, government officials and the media. Ms. Ahearn has been instrumental in developing and coordinating training for law enforcement on topics including crime victim compensation and community based Megan's Law Programs. Ms. Ahearn has received many awards including the prestigious Martin Schwartz Award for Excellence in Civil Rights for her work with victims, the New York State Senate Woman of Distinction Award, the New York State Outstanding Victims Advocate Award, the Leadership in Establishing and Maintaining Social Justice Award, Woman of the Year awards, Leadership in Community Education Award, Newsday Everyday Hero, multiple legislative and citation recognition awards and has been recognized by the U.S. Justice Department's Office of Victims of Crime and the U.S. Congress for her many accomplishments in strengthening local, state and federal policies and laws to protect our most vulnerable and to give victims a voice. She is also the founder and executive director of a not-for-profit organization dedicated to protecting our most vulnerable and crime victim's rights. In addition to her roles as Executive Director, Ms. Ahearn holds leadership roles such as the Chairwoman of a Legal Systems Subcommittee and a member of a Criminal Justice Coordinating Council compromised of members of law enforcement, prosecution, judiciary, mental health, and youth services. She was the Victims Representative for a Hate Crimes Task Force.
Ms. Ahearn holds an undergraduate degree in Business Administration, a Masters of Social Work (MSW) from SUNY Stony Brook she earned while on fellowship and a Juris Doctor (J.D.) from Touro Law where she graduated Magna Cum Laude and at the top of her class. Laura is an avid angler and is often seen fresh or salt-water fishing in Suffolk County.
Ms. Ahearn In The News