Barbara Lynn Ashcroft joined the Beasley School of Law faculty in July 2007 as the Director of Temple University Beasley’s School of Law’s acclaimed LL.M. in Trial Advocacy program. A former Montgomery County Assistant District Attorney, Ms. Ashcroft spent seven years prosecuting more than 1,500 criminal cases comprising fraud, burglary, domestic violence, sexual assault, felony drug crime, and homicide. In 2005, she became the chief of the Montgomery County Sex Crimes Unit and was charged with overseeing the prosecution of all sexual assault crimes in the county. Along with maintaining a personal caseload in excess of one hundred and fifty cases, Ms. Ashcroft was also a member of several task forces: the Montgomery Sexual Assault Task Force, the Internet Crime Against Children Task Force, and the County Drug Task Force.
During her time at the District Attorney’s Office, Ms. Ashcroft received special commendations for her exemplary performance in the investigations and prosecutions of felony crimes, including murder and multi-jurisdictional burglary. She has lectured on issues related to drug crime, assault, and child and victim advocacy. As a legal analyst, she has made expert guest appearances on television and radio shows regarding the criminal prosecution of sex crimes and homicides. A 1999 graduate of the Widener University School of Law, Ms. Ashcroft has also served as an Assistant District Attorney in Chester County and as a clerk in the Delaware County District Attorney’s Office.
A seasoned litigator, Professor Ashcroft brings her extensive real world experiential background to Temple’s LL.M. in Trial Advocacy program. She is an instructor in the LL.M. program and also coaches Temple’s award-winning trial team. Ms. Ashcroft is committed to advancing both the educational and developmental missions of the institution.
Research & Teaching Areas
Areas of Expertise
Selected PublicationsPublications and Media Appearances
Reported decisions in which Professor Ashcroft has served as lead trial counsel and/or lead appellate counsel include:
- Commonwealth vs. Granese.
First Degree Murder Conviction (December 30, 2005)
Three-week jury trial, in which I presented wholly circumstantial evidence that the defendant had killed his wife of 34 years, and the jury delivered a unanimous guilty verdict of First Degree Murder.
Montgomery County District Attorney’s Commendation(January 6, 2006)
I received a commendation for exemplary performance in the investigation and prosecution of Charles Angelo Granese for the murder of his wife.
- Commonwealth vs. Gerald Bendig, Jr.
Involuntary Deviate Sexual Intercourse Conviction (May 2008)
I prosecuted this pedophile, known in Bucks County as the “Rolls Royce” of sex offenders. The defense filed numerous pre-trial motions alleging “taint” and moved to keep the child witness (a 10- year-old boy from an Immigrant family) from testifying. Additionally, the defense moved to seal the defendant’s prior record. The court allowed the child witness to testify but barred me from bringing in the defendant’s prior three child-rape convictions. During the three day trial, the defense highlighted the Commonwealth’s absence of corroborating physical or forensic evidence. Meanwhile, an interpreter was used to translate the 10-year old boy and his father’s testimony. After forty minutes, the jury returned a unanimous guilty verdict and the defendant (now a convicted third strike child sex offender) was sentenced to life in prison.
- Commonwealth vs. McKannan.
Involuntary Deviate Sexual Intercourse Conviction(September 4, 2007)
Technology and dogged diligence by the Upper Merion police resulted in this conviction. The rape occurred shortly after 9:30 p.m. on August 30, 1998, but the woman could not identify her attacker because he blindfolded her before he raped her. Additionally, the State Police Lab did not initially recover DNA on the victim’s clothing. By 2003, Upper Merion police resubmitted the items from this cold case to a new forensic scientist and DNA was recovered. A computerized match was made via CODIS and the DNA evidence resulted in a conviction after a three day trial.
- Commonwealth vs. Frederick.
Third Degree Murder Conviction (July 29, 2005)
I prosecuted case with District Attorney Bruce L. Castor, Jr., before the Honorable William T.Nicholas, defendant convicted on July 29, 2005.
- Commonwealth vs. McBurrows.
Third Degree Murder Conviction (August 27, 2004)
Eight-day trial prosecuted with Deputy District Attorney Maloney, during which I presented evidence and testimony to support that the defendant had beaten and killed a four-year-old child and abused several other children.
- Commonwealth vs. Wireman.
(Two) First Degree Murder Convictions(October 20, 2003)
I prosecuted case with District Attorney Bruce L. Castor before the Honorable Paul W. Tressler, defendant convicted on October 20, 2003.
- Commonwealth v. Wallace.
Rape Conviction (January 24, 2004)
Case involving a knifepoint rape of a teenage girl.
- Commonwealth vs. Oliphant.
Rape Conviction(April 3, 2003)
Four-day trial involving the brutal rape of a young woman in Upper Dublin.
- Commonwealth v. Wardlaw.
Rape Conviction(May 6, 2003)
Case involving the rape of a disabled blind girl.
- Commonwealth v. Penn.
Multi-Jurisdictional Burglary Conviction(December 9, 2003)
One-week jury trial, involving nine burglaries that impacted four counties and numerous victims, in which the defendant was found guilty of all nine burglaries.
Montgomery County Police Department Commendation(December 10, 2003)
I received a commendation from Montgomery County Police Chief for exemplary performance in the investigation and prosecution of a career burglar, which cited an outstanding opening statement to the jury, and a well organized trial presentation followed by a masterful closing.
- Commonwealth v. Phillips.
Assault Conviction(April 22, 2005)
Three-day jury trial involving an assault of a prostitute.