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Denise Oncken, Houston

Denise Oncken, a native Houstonian, has been an Assistant District Attorney with the Harris County District Attorney’s Office for over 35 years. She oversees the Special Victims & Mental Health Bureau, which includes the Adult Sex Crimes, Crimes Against Children, Domestic Violence, Mental Health, Child Fatality and Victim Services Divisions.

She is a well-respected prosecutor with a diverse background at the District Attorney’s Office, including serving as Division Chief over Mental Health, Crimes Against Children, and Child Abuse, and as Chief Prosecutor of several Criminal District Courts (handling Capital Murder cases), Chief Prosecutor in the Special Crimes Bureau Drug Task Force and a specialized prosecutor handling domestic violence cases as well as child sexual abuse cases.

As a Division Chief over Crimes Against Children, Oncken was a founding partner in the creation of the Harris County Children’s Assessment Center and formulated the first Child Exploitation Section. Further, Oncken worked with local leaders in the creation of the Judge Ed Emmett Mental Health Diversion Center, which opened in the fall of 2018.

She is an honor graduate of the University of Houston with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business. She is a December 1985 graduate of the South Texas College of Law and has been licensed in Texas since May 1986. She is a member of the highly acclaimed Texas Prosecutor Society, inducted in 2016, Houston Bar Association (serving on several committees), Life Fellow of the Houston Bar Foundation, and co-chair in 2017-19 of the Texas Bar Association.