The Woman Leading Hollywood's Prosecution of Powerful Men

Jackie Lacey says she didn't realize how tough she was until she ran for Los Angeles County District Attorney.
by | April 10, 2018
Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey (TNS/Mel Melcon)

The Los Angeles County District Attorney's office is known for being "the Hollywood of prosecutors' offices."

It's perhaps best known for cases involving infamous serial killers like Charles Manson and Robert Durst. But beyond the headline-grabbing cases, there's a lot going on behind the scenes to maintain law and order in the most populous county in America.

For instance, the recent rash of allegations against powerful Hollywood men has captivated the world, but relatively few know that it spurred the county's D.A., Jackie Lacey, to create a sexual assault task force.

Lacey has also taken a special interest in fighting sex trafficking. She helped to rescue around 20 underage girls, and instead of charging them with prostitution, turned her office's attention to their traffickers, "putting them in prison for the rest of their lives," she says.

Lacey is the first African-American to lead the department, which she says holds special weight for her since her parents grew up in the South during the Jim Crow era.

"I would never want to do anything to make her [mom] not proud ... I really do a lot of soul searching on these decisions to make sure I am doing the right thing."

Listen to her full interview on "The 23%: Conversations With Women in Government" below. You can also subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or Stitcher, and check out our archives.