When Governor Patrick appointed Marian T. Ryan as District Attorney for Middlesex County in April of 2013, he praised her “experience, rigor, tenacity, integrity and compassion.” Before becoming District Attorney, Marian spent more than three decades as one of Middlesex County’s top prosecutors, trying and convicting some of the state’s most violent felons, fighting for the rights of victims, and creating innovative crime prevention initiatives. A cum laude graduate of Boston College Law School, she has made her mark as a skilled litigator, bringing hundreds of felony cases to trial, including dozens of first-degree murder prosecutions. Ryan is also a talented appellate attorney, having personally briefed and argued more than forty cases before the Appeals Court and Supreme Judicial Court. The office she now leads, the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office, is responsible for the prosecution of more than 35,000 cases a year in the fifty-four cities and towns of Middlesex County. Ryan’s own life experience has given her a deep and broad understanding about law enforcement, victimization, and the judicial system. In 1980, Ryan was a young Assistant District Attorney, just starting her career as a prosecutor, when she was the victim of a vicious assault and a witness to the murder of her then-boyfriend. Through this experience, she learned first-hand about the impact and significance of violent crime and of criminal prosecution. Ryan gained insight into the importance of an exhaustive and unassailable investigation, supportive victim advocacy, a fair trial, and a just and incontrovertible verdict. The experience strengthened her resolve as she developed into a strong, empathetic and judicious prosecutor. Marian’s work in Middlesex County has also focused on crime prevention and public safety efforts. She has been a constant presence in Middlesex County’s public and private schools, where she lectures and leads workshops to raise awareness of the dangers of prescription drug abuse, teen dating violence, bullying and distracted driving. Ryan has been a leader in crime prevention and pretrial diversion programs aimed at preventing young offenders from becoming involved in the adult criminal justice system, and she developed a bi-annual college consortium for educators, administrators and campus police, focused on campus safety and security. Prior to being named District Attorney, Ryan served as the MDAO’s General Counsel, where she created the county-wide Workplace Safety and Violence Prevention Program. Ryan drew upon Middlesex County’s rich and varied resources in academia, scientific research and medical facilities, to formulate strategies, make threat assessments, and address and prevent potentially volatile situations in the workplace.
For more than sixteen years, Ryan served as Chief of the MDAO’s Elder and Disabled Unit, where she prosecuted crimes involving physical and financial abuse of some of the Commonwealth’s most vulnerable victims. In this role, Ryan collaborated with business and community leaders to conduct risk assessments and develop prevention plans for elders and disabled citizens. Now, as District Attorney, Ryan is developing an education and training program to bring together businesses, hospitals, housing providers and community leaders to educate and promote a safe and secure environment for our aging population.
Ryan has been involved in domestic violence prevention and prosecution for over three decades. She has conducted trainings for prosecutors, police officers and service providers to help them confront the unique challenges posed by domestic violence. Ryan has been an active participant in Cut it Out Middlesex, a program designed to educate hair stylists on how to recognize signs of domestic abuse in their clients. She has served in the MDAO Child Abuse Unit and created the MDAO Shaken Baby Task Force.