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The Cyril H. Wecht Institute of Forensic Science and Law

Is pleased to announce ...


Please join us in mourning the recent loss of LAURA DITKA, a longtime instructor, adviser and friend, and an alumna of the Duquesne University School of Law.

Ms. Ditka, the state's chief deputy attorney general and a career prosecutor, passed away on Oct. 15, leaving behind a daughter, Chloe, along with her mother, Joyceann Ditka, of Franklin Park, and father, Ashton Ditka, of Warren, Pa.; brothers Anthony Ditka, of Marshall, and David Ditka, of Leesburg, Va.; and several nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles and cousins.

As a member of the Allegheny County District Attorney's office for 25 years, Ms. Ditka was the first supervisor of the county's newly formed Child Abuse unit, where she helped author the first countywide protocol for the investigation and prosecution of child abuse cases, established the Child Court docket in Pittsburgh Municipal Court, and was on the initial planning and organizational committee to establish Sex Offender Court. She also supervised the Crimes Against Persons unit and, at the time of her departure for the AG's office in 2013, was the deputy district attorney supervising both units.

As chief deputy attorney general, Ms. Ditka was instrumental in the prosecutions stemming from the Jerry Sandusky child abuse scandal, including the conviction of Penn State President President Graham Spanier in 2017.

At the Wecht Institute, where she spoke just a month earlier on the topic of sexual assault and legal consent in the #MeToo era, Laura will always be remembered as a dynamic speaker, thoughtful adviser and affable presence.

May she rest in peace, may her legacy endure in the lives of the victims she protected, and may her memory forever be a blessing.


For more information, please visit the Trial Advocacy course page, and join our email list to be kept updated about this exciting opportunity.

Email us at wechtinstitute@duq.edu