Intake

Ana Marie Diaz

Ana Marie Diaz

Case Associate

Ana Marie Diaz

Ana Marie Diaz

Case Associate Staff

Ana Marie Diaz

Case Associate Staff

Ana Marie Diaz joined the Innocence Project in November 2007 as a Case Assistant. Ms. Diaz has always had a passion for Forensic Science. Before joining the Innocence Project Ms. Diaz worked in several fields, including social work and medicine.

Celeste C. Vargas

Celeste C. Vargas

Case Analyst

Celeste C. Vargas

Celeste C. Vargas

Case Analyst Intake

Celeste C. Vargas

Case Analyst Intake

Celeste joined the Innocence Project as a Case Analyst in November 2020. Helping others has always been her passion. Prior to joining our team, she worked at the Winston-Salem Police Department in North Carolina for seven years. Her career began in crime scene investigation with the Forensic Services Division. She also worked with the WSPD Training Division, followed by the Victim Assistance Unit where she reviewed cases and provided services to crime victims including survivors of domestic violence. Celeste graduated from Pennsylvania State University with a Bachelor of Science in Crime, Law, & Justice. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. She is happy to be back home in Brooklyn, New York where she was born and raised.

Debra Fulton

Debra Fulton

Intake Assistant

Debra Fulton

Debra Fulton

Intake Assistant Intake

Debra Fulton

Intake Assistant Intake

Debra joined the Innocence Project as an Intake Assistant in March of 2022.

Debra became interested in the wrongful convictions field like many others, by listening to the Serial podcast. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Northern Vermont University in Professional Studies with a focus on “Preventing Injustice.” Debra formerly held positions as a 9-1-1 dispatcher and administrative assistant, and previously volunteered as a paranormal investigator and a case review manager for a wrongfully convicted advocacy group.

Debra also researched, wrote, recorded, and produced a podcast about wrongful conviction cases, which urges people to ask, “What if they really are innocent?”

Donald Katz

Donald Katz

Intake Assistant

Donald Katz

Donald Katz

Intake Assistant Intake

Donald Katz

Intake Assistant Intake

Elena Aviles

Elena Aviles

Document Manager

Elena Aviles

Elena Aviles

Document Manager Intake

Elena Aviles

Document Manager Intake

Elena Aviles has worked at the Innocence Project since its inception. She started working on a full time basis for the Project in 1997 as a Case Assistant and managed the bulk of the administrative functions of the evaluation process.  In September 2007, she became the Innocence Project’s first Document Manager and is responsible for acquiring documents and information in cases where more information is needed to complete our review.

Emilie Winter

Emilie Winter

Case Analyst

Emilie Winter

Emilie Winter

Case Analyst Intake

Emilie Winter

Case Analyst Intake

Emilie joined the Innocence Project in September 2023. Prior to working at the Innocence Project, Emilie was a Language Access Specialist at Vermont Immigrant Assistance, where she provided Portuguese interpretation and translation services for clients seeking asylum. Emilie was a summer fellow with Fair and Just Prosecution; she developed several policy reform projects with Chittenden County State’s Attorney’s Office, including a policy guiding prosecutors to send case referrals to local restorative justice programs. She earned her M.A. in restorative justice from Vermont Law School in 2022 and a double B.A. in psychology and geography from DePaul University in 2016. Emilie is currently completing her JD degree at Brooklyn Law School.

Gabriel Lopez

Gabriel Lopez

Senior Case Analyst

Gabriel Lopez

Gabriel Lopez

Senior Case Analyst Intake

Gabriel Lopez

Senior Case Analyst Intake

Gabriel Lopez joined the innocence project as a Case Analyst in May 2018. Prior to working at the innocence project, Gabriel worked as an intake paralegal at Brooklyn Legal Services in the Tenant Rights Coalition unit. He also interned with a Licensed Private Investigator in the summer of 2016, learning about investigative report writing and background due diligence. He earned his B.A. in Psychology from Hunter College, part of the City University of New York. Gabriel is currently completing his Master’s Degree in Forensic Psychology at John Jay College at the City University of New York.

Jessica Diaz

Jessica Diaz

Document Manager

Jessica Diaz

Jessica Diaz

Document Manager Staff

Jessica Diaz

Document Manager Staff

Jessica Diaz joined the Innocence Project as Intake Assistant in April of 2016. Prior to joining the Innocence Project, Jessica worked at the Foundation Center where she served in various roles to help strengthen the knowledge of philanthropy. She received her B.A. in Media Studies from Hunter College.

Lauren Schlansky

Lauren Schlansky

Case Analyst and Investigator, Intake Strategic Initiatives

Lauren Schlansky

Lauren Schlansky

Case Analyst and Investigator, Intake Strategic Initiatives Intake

Lauren Schlansky

Case Analyst and Investigator, Intake Strategic Initiatives Intake

Lauren joined the Innocence Project as a paralegal in June 2020. Prior to joining the IP, Lauren was an investigator at Brooklyn Defender Services, where she helped defend hundreds of individuals charged with misdemeanor and felony crimes. During college, Lauren conducted research for the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office, interned with several organizations including the Legal Aid Society and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, and spent time in Germany researching its prison system and history of punishment. Lauren graduated from Stanford University with a B.A. in Philosophy and Political Science in 2019.

Marc Vega

Marc Vega

Senior Case Analyst

Marc Vega

Marc Vega

Senior Case Analyst Intake

Marc Vega

Senior Case Analyst Intake

Marc Vega joined the Innocence Project in April 2004 as a Case Assistant. Mr. Vega believes strongly in the Project’s mission and is happy to be a member of the team. Before joining the Innocence Project, Mr. Vega worked in several fields, including social work and medicine.

Phoebe Jones

Phoebe Jones

Case Analyst

Phoebe Jones

Phoebe Jones

Case Analyst Staff

Phoebe Jones

Case Analyst Staff

Phoebe Jones is a Case Analyst at the Innocence Project. Prior to joining in 2023, Phoebe worked as the Investigator in the Criminal Appeals Bureau at The Legal Aid Society. As an investigator, she worked closely with clients pursuing both domestic violence resentencing motions and wrongful conviction claims by tracking down and speaking to witnesses and locating evidence. Phoebe is also a photographer and helps produce multimedia documentary projects outside of work. She earned her B.A. in History and Human Rights from Barnard College.

Simran Sohal

Simran Sohal

Senior Case Analyst

Simran Sohal

Simran Sohal

Senior Case Analyst Staff

Simran Sohal

Senior Case Analyst Staff

Simran joined the Innocence Project as a Case Analyst in November 2020. She returned to the organization after interning in the Intake Department the previous year. Graduating from Williams College in June 2020, she received a double B.A. in Psychology and English with a concentration in Justice and Law Studies. While at Williams, Simran conducted independent research on the relationship between procedural justice and jury nullification. Outside of the academic sphere, she volunteered as a responder to a hotline service for survivors of sexual violence and their allies and organized initiatives to prevent future instances of such harm.

William Woods

William Woods

Director of Intake & Case Evaluation

William Woods

William Woods

Director of Intake & Case Evaluation Intake

William Woods

Director of Intake & Case Evaluation Intake

Yosha Gunasekera

Yosha Gunasekera

Staff Attorney, Intake Strategic Initiatives

Yosha Gunasekera

Yosha Gunasekera

Staff Attorney, Intake Strategic Initiatives Intake

Yosha Gunasekera

Staff Attorney, Intake Strategic Initiatives Intake

Yosha Gunasekera is the Intake Strategic Initiatives Attorney at the Innocence Project where she reviews cases for claims of innocence and then represents those individuals as they seek relief from wrongful convictions.

Prior to joining the Innocence Project, she was a staff attorney at the Legal Aid Society where she represented hundreds of New Yorkers charged with misdemeanors and serious violent felonies from arraignment to trial. She was a Blume Public Interest Leader in Residence at Georgetown Law, where she advised law students on public interest careers. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where she successfully advocated for an online bail payment system to reduce Philadelphia’s pretrial inmate population. She worked with and was funded by the City of Philadelphia to implement the online bail proposal. For nearly eight years, Yosha was an associate board member for the Women’s Prison Association, the nation’s oldest organization for women impacted by incarceration. She has been published in Marie Claire Magazine, Teen Vogue, The Hill, and more.

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