A transgender woman, now 26, has been ordered to serve just two years in a juvenile detention center for sexually assaulting a 10-year-old girl, after LA DA George Gascon refused to prosecute her as an adult.
Hannah Tubbs, formerly known as James, now 26, pleaded guilty in 2020 to sexually assaulting the young girl in a Denny’s bathroom in 2014, when she was 17.
Prosecutors had pushed for her to stay in a Los Angeles County Jail and be tried as an adult but Gascón declined to file a motion to move the case out of juvenile court, where it was filed because of Tubbs’ age at the time of offense.
Gascon said previously that he was concerned Tubbs could be victimized due to her gender identity in an adult facility, and had even recommended she simply be sentenced to home confinement.
Before handing down the light sentence of just two years in a juvenile facility and no requirement to register as a sex offender, Judge Mario Barrera said his hands were tied by Gascón.
‘I want to be clear,’ Barrera said at the Lancaster, California, court sentencing Thursday. ‘The filing of a transfer motion is entirely within the discretion of the district attorney.’
‘Because of George Gascon’s blanket policy against transferring any juvenile to adult court, even if the 17-year-old rapes or murders an innocent child, James [now Hannah] Tubbs will not have to register as a sex offender, will not spend any time in county jail or state prison, will be 26 and housed with juveniles for a very short period of time, and will be released with no probation or parole monitoring.’
Hannah Tubbs, formerly known as James, 26, (pictured in 2014) was sentenced to two years in a juvenile facility for assaulting a 10-year-old girl in a Denny’s bathroom in 2014
Gascon’s decision has sparked fury among prosecutors in LA.
Deputy District Attorney Shea Sanna slammed the move after the hearing, telling the New York Post: ‘You have a violent sexual predator sentenced to two years in a juvenile facility.
‘It doesn’t change the fact that the public is safer, but we just preferred Tubbs to be with other adults and not prey on others.’
L.A. Deputy District Attorney Jon Hatami, assigned to the Complex Child Abuse Unit,, told Fox News: ‘Tubbs is 26 years old. Unlike George Gascon’s false narrative, she is not a ‘kid.’
‘There was evidence presented at the juvenile proceedings which showed that Tubbs sexually assaulted two young girls in different incidents in the past. The child victims will suffer lifelong trauma. Tubbs also has prior violent convictions and conduct as an adult.’
Tubbs, who identified as male at the time of the crime had followed the girl into the bathroom, held her by the throat and forced his hand down the girl’s pants. She only stopped when someone came into the restroom, and then ran away before she could be stopped.
Los Angeles DA George Gascon is facing criticism for his decision to try her in juvenile court, despite only being weeks off of her 18th birthday in 2014. He said he worried she would be a target in an adult facility for her identity
It took years before Tubbs was identified as the attacker after being arrested in Idaho in 2019 on suspicion of battery.
She has since transitioned.
DNA entered into a database that matched Tubbs with the sexual assault at Denny’s, and the accused was brought back to California – by which point there were arrests, according to Fox, for battery, drug possession and probation violations in Idaho and Washington.
Despite the prior convictions, Tubbs will serve her time in isolation, away from the other juveniles and will be housed with female inmates.
Two years is the maximum sentence a juvenile can receive up until the age of 25. The DA recently change the rule and said he would ‘immediately’ stop prosecuting children as adults.
Gascon cited multiple studies that say brain development doesn’t stop until the age of 25 and that juvenile facilities can help rehabilitate young offenders. Although, cases involving those over 18 will be reviewed case-by-case to see if it goes to adult court.
The DA could have moved Tubbs into adult court, as it is within his discretion, but he choose not too.
Hannah, who went by James at the time of the assault, followed the girl into the bathroom, held her by the throat and forced his hand down the girl’s pants. She only stopped when someone came into the restroom, and then ran away before she could be stopped
‘The victims will get no justice. The public will get no safety,’ Hatami said. ‘It’s an injustice against all of us, especially the young victims.’
LA County offered to house Tubbs in county jail, but Judge Mario Barrera did not have the authority to change facilities, Deputy District Attorney Shea Sanna said.
Kathryn Barger, on the board of supervisors for Los Angeles County’s Fifth District, said the family of the young girl attacked by Tubbs deserved justice.
‘It’s useless to catch criminals like Hannah Tubbs if we don’t follow through and seek justice for victims such as the 10-year-old girl she sexually assaulted,’ said Barger.
‘She bears the burden of a lifetime of trauma.
‘[Tubbs] will be offered therapeutic interventions under the auspices of ‘restorative justice’ … and possibly granted only probation or parole.
‘Where is the justice for her young victim and her family?’