Summer Stephan received her Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of California, at Davis, and her Juris Doctor from Pacific McGeorge School of Law. She has been a Deputy District Attorney in San Diego County for 25 years, and was a San Diego Superior Court Research Attorney before joining the DA’s office.
As a trial prosecutor, she tried over 100 jury trials including capital and special circumstance homicide, sexually based homicide, sexual assault, sexual exploitation of minors, child abuse, school shooting and human trafficking related cases.
Summer held several leadership positions at the District Attorney’s Office including her appointment as Chief of the Sex Crimes and Human Trafficking Division; this special victims’ division is responsible for prosecuting sex crimes, child molestation, sexually violent predators, sexual exploitation, human trafficking, and stalking cases. Summer also held the position of Chief of the North County Branch which serves a third of San Diego County’s population for five years. In January of 2012, the District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis appointed Summer as Chief Deputy District Attorney.
Summer was selected as one of only two prosecutors in the State of California on the Governor’s Task Force for High Risk Sex Offenders and Sexually Violent Predators. She has served as an expert witness before the California State Legislature on legislation related to sex crimes, and other public safety topics. She serves on the County’s Human Trafficking and Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children Advisory Council as chair of the prosecution committee, the Lawyers Club Human Trafficking task force, and several organizations focused on combating human trafficking. Summer also spear headed the PRICE Coalition which brought together law enforcement, colleges and universities, San Diego area High Schools, victim advocates and other community groups and created an educational media campaign targeting sexual violence against teen girls and college women with the slogan: “Know the Price.”
Summer was the recipient of several awards including the Deputy District Attorneys Association “Outstanding Achievement Award for 1997”. The award focused on the successful capital prosecution in the murder and sexual assault of an elderly woman and the murder of the manager of a Clothestime store which became known as the Clotherstime murder. The Deputy District Attorneys Association also awarded Summer with the “Chuck Nickel Award” for professional excellence for 2008 in recognition of Summer’s state wide contribution to public safety in the area of sex crimes. Summer also received the San Diego Police Department’s “Prosecutor’s award” for homicide prosecution, the Sexual Assault Response Team award for “Response with a Heart”, the FBI commendation for prosecution of an auto theft organized crime ring, the 2008 Mayor’s award for helping to improve public safety in the City of Oceanside, the 2013 “Angel” of anti- human trafficking by the BSCC for 10 years of dedication in combatting human trafficking, the 2014 City of San Diego Human Relations Commission “Partner” award for collaboration to promote positive change in the community with a special commendation by San Diego’s Mayor and Council President.
Summer also regularly contributes to the development of newer Deputy District Attorneys as a regular instructor for the New Deputy District Attorney and Felony Advocacy training. She also regularly instructs on various prosecution and public safety issues locally and across the state with an emphasis on sex crimes and human trafficking.