Who I Am

Who I Am

Before being elected Cumberland County District Attorney in 2018, DA Sahrbeck had an extensive prosecution career in both Maine and Massachusetts. He has called for more prevention and education to fight the opioid epidemic and substance use disorder, a renewed emphasis on stopping domestic violence, elder and child abuse and human trafficking, while also taking a closer look at new programs to help victims, reduce defendant recidivism, and increase diversion from the criminal justice system. DA Sahrbeck is passionate about working with community partners on addressing mental health issues and substance use disorder, and educating the public about the effects of adverse childhood experiences and trauma.

Cumberland County is not just my address — it’s my home. I was born in Portland and raised in Cape Elizabeth, graduating high school in 1998, and now living here as a husband and a father and active member of my community. After receiving a bachelor degree with focuses in Government and History from Connecticut College, I decided to attend law school. From the moment I stepped into American University’s Washington College of Law, I knew I wanted to become a prosecutor and serve the community.

  • 2007

    : I started prosecuting in Fall River District Court, which stands out among the busiest courts in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. I handled cases ranging from drug trafficking and illegal guns to domestic violence and drunk driving.

  • 2008

    : I transitioned to District Court and Juvenile Court in Lowell, Massachusetts. I visited many schools and communities through the Community Based Justice Program in Middlesex County, focusing attention on at-risk youth and attempting to steer young offenders in the right direction.

  • 2009

    : I worked in Waltham District Court as the Domestic Violence Designee. I received invaluable domestic violence prosecution training and prosecuted cases out of Waltham, Watertown and Weston, Massachusetts. Nothing felt more rewarding than helping out these vulnerable victims and protecting the community by holding domestic violence offenders accountable.

  • 2010

    : I prosecuted in Concord and Ayer District Courts, where I assisted the Drug Court program in Massachusetts alongside judges, law enforcement, and defense counsel to help individuals with severe substance use disorder. That was my first exposure to the useful tool of adult treatment courts which divert people with substance use disorder from incarceration and into effective treatment.

  • 2011

    : I took on a supervisory role in Framingham District Court, handling drug and prostitution cases out of the Metro West area of Middlesex County, while also supervising eight other Assistant District Attorneys. In recognition of my work, I was promoted and assigned to a Lowell Superior Court indicting major felony cases including guns, drug trafficking, and attempted murder.

  • 2012

    : I returned to my home state of Maine to work as the Maine Drug Enforcement prosecutor in York County, including handling the York County Adult Drug Treatment Court. It became clear to me the opioid epidemic was making those who were already susceptible to victimization of crime and substance use disorder, specifically people who experienced adverse childhood experiences and trauma, more contact with the criminal justice system. As a result, I attempted to use the laws at my disposal to target drug traffickers while trying to try to provide people with substance use disorder more tools to help themselves.

  • 2016

    : I joined the Cumberland County District Attorney’s Office as the Assistant District Attorney in charge of the Human Trafficking Unit. In this capacity, I’ve focused not only on prosecuting traffickers and targeting buyers of sex (aka “Johns”) through undercover prostitution stings, but also in educating law enforcement about the tell-tale signs of victimization. It is vital those on the front lines see these women as victims and survivors as opposed to criminals so we can target the actual perpetrators of these heinous crimes.

  • 2018

    : I ran for the Cumberland County District Attorney seat as an independent based on my belief that the position was apolitical. I believe that the campaign needed somebody with my experience and my dedication since I was the most experienced prosecutor in the campaign. I also called for more prevention and education in the community to fight the opioid epidemic and substance use disorder and educating people about adverse childhood experiences. I wanted a renewed emphasis on stopping domestic violence, elder and child abuse and human trafficking, while also taking a closer look at new programs to help victims and survivors, reduce defendant recidivism, and increase diversion from the criminal justice system.

  • Present

    : After being sworn in as the Cumberland County District Attorney, I addressed the two most important needs in the criminal justice system: (1) addressing mental health issues and substance use disorder, and (2) educating the public about the effects of adverse childhood experiences and trauma. I became an instrumental partner in creating a Veterans Treatment Court to go along with our existing Adult Drug Court, and our Mental Health Languishing Committee in Cumberland County. I created the Cumberland County Coalition on Substance Use Disorder (CCCSUP), which works with over 50 community groups, law enforcement, treatment providers, substance use disorder advocates, and recovery allies to network and work together to help people suffering. I created a restorative justice diversion program in Cumberland County to divert people from the criminal justice system, while addressing the harm caused by the person’s actions and holding them accountable. I organized racial equity training for Cumberland County and prosecutors statewide to examine and learn about implicit bias, anti-racism, and racial equity, diversity and inclusion. Finally, I continue to do my job as the top prosecutor in Cumberland County to continue to work with and support law enforcement in order to protect public safety, speak for victims and help reduce defendant recidivism.

As a prosecutor, I feel it is my duty to strive for justice but act with compassion. Every day, I need to distinguish a good person who made a mistake from a bad person who got caught. Such a distinction is not always clear-cut, and as an independent thinker, I carry no preconceived notions into the courtroom. Every case is different, and each outcome cannot be predetermined. These are just some of the many reasons I am most qualified to lead as District Attorney.

 
 
 
 
 
 

My History