Shaunestte N. Terrell is a Partner at Voyles Vaiana Lukemeyer Baldwin & Webb where she leads the firm’s Sexual Abuse Litigation Team. Shaunestte focuses her practice on helping survivors of sexual assault to obtain justice and compensation through the civil justice system in an effort not only to hold their perpetrators accountable, but to also provide resources needed to effectively deal with the severe trauma of the sexual abuse they experienced.
Shaunestte graduated with full academic honors from Purdue University in 2004, where she majored in History and Psychology and was a member of the Golden Key International Honour Society. She earned her J.D. from Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law in 2009 A dedicated public servant, Shaunestte began her post-undergraduate career as an AmeriCorps Team Member. Shaunestte served as Community Outreach Leader for the National AIDS Fund in Charlotte, North Carolina. Shaunestte developed and implemented the education outreach program at The Jemsek Project and also provided client services to those living with HIV/AIDS.
After her year of service, Shaunestte returned to Indiana to attend law school, while she also clerked in Marion County Superior Court, Criminal Division in a major felony court for the Hon. Mark D. Stoner and the Hon. Jeffrey L. Marchal. Upon graduating from law school, she worked as a public defender in Marion County, litigating in all areas of adult misdemeanor and felony courts.
Shaunestte then transitioned to Marion County Prosecutor’s Office as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney assigned to the Special Victims Unit (SVU). In her role in the SVU, Shaunestte prosecuted perpetrators of rape, child molesting, child abuse, human trafficking, and other crimes against protected persons. As the sole deputy prosecutor assigned to the Human Trafficking/Missing Persons Unit, Shaunestte frequently participated in undercover investigations and human trafficking busts, which she then prosecuted in Marion County Superior Court or referred to the United States Attorney’s Office where she served as a Special Assistant United States Attorney (SAUSA). After leaving the prosecutor’s office, Shaunestte worked as the Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Resource Prosecutor for the Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council (IPAC), providing legal research and aiding in trial preparation for Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys who requested assistance in investigating and prosecuting crimes of domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking. Shaunestte was considered the subject matter expert in these crimes for all 91 Prosecuting Attorneys’ Offices in Indiana. In this role, Shaunestte developed state-wide, prosecutor-based preventive law programs and developed the curriculum, for basic, intermediate, and advanced trial advocacy and substantive courses related to these subject matters. Shaunestte also helped to lead the effort in development and implementation of a statewide Sexual Assault Kit Tracking System. Additionally, Shaunestte aided in legislative efforts, helping to rewrite the Human Trafficking Code, and testified in support of Nonconsensual Dissemination of Intimate Images and a comprehensive Victims’ Rights Package, both of which were signed into law. Shaunestte also serves as an Adjunct Professor of Political Science at Ivy Tech Community College and was the creator and host of Support for Survivors Podcast, a platform for sharing stories and resources for survivors of sexual violence.
Shaunestte is a frequent speaker and writer on topics related to sexual abuse prevention, intervention, and justice. Some of her recent publications and presentations include “#MeToo Five Years Later: How Do You Stack Up?” (Society for Human Resource Management), “5 Tips to Never See My Face Again” (Indiana Interdenominational Church Safety Summit), “Human Trafficking in Rural Areas: What the LEO Needs to Know” (Adams County Sheriff’s Department), “Civil Justice for Sexual Abuse: A Primer for Forensic Nurses” (2022), and “Indiana Sex Crimes Statutes” (Indiana Coalition to End Sexual Assault). Shaunestte is passionate about advocating for survivors of sexual violence and raising awareness about the issue in her community. She is also involved in various volunteer activities related to HIV education, juvenile justice, and interfaith dialogue.