Pioneer prosecutor of sex crimes shares tales
When Linda Fairstein — model for the NBC television series Law & Order: SVU — joined the Manhattan district attorney’s office in 1972, she was one of only seven women on a staff of 200 attorneys.
Just the year before, only 18 of the 1,000 men arrested for sex crimes in Manhattan were convicted. There were no special victims units anywhere in the country.
No wonder she hesitated when she was asked in 1976 to head the office’s newly formed sex crimes unit.
Obstacles against successful prosecutions were legion, she