A transgender woman, now 26, has been sentenced to two years in a juvenile detention center for sexually assaulting a 10-year-old girl in 2014 after Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon refused to prosecute her as an adult, despite prosecutor's efforts to keep her in a Los Angeles County Jail.
Hannah Tubbs, pleaded guilty in 2020 to sexually assaulting the young girl in a women's bathroom in Denny's in 2014, when she was only two weeks away from turning 18.
Tubbs Started Identifying as Female After Being Taken into Custody
At the time of the sexual assault, she identified as male and went by James Tubbs. She did not identify as female until after she was taken into custody, according to prosecutors.
Prosecutors say Tubbs walked into the bathroom of a Denny's in 2014 and grabbed the 10-year-old by the throat, locked her in a stall, and put her hand down the girl's pants. Tubbs stopped when another person walked into the restroom, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Tubbs was arrested and charged for the crime in 2019 after she was arrested on battery charges in Idaho and her DNA matched a national database. She pleaded guilty to the California sexual assault charge in November.
Judge Said His 'Hands Were Tied'
Prosecutors had pushed for Tubbs to stay in a Los Angeles County Jail and be tried as an adult but GascÃ³n 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, to an adult court.
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.
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 GascÃ³n.
In L.A. County, juvenile facilities can house both females and males, but in separate areas. Tubbs will be housed with the juvenile female prisoners.
"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," the Daily Mail quoted Barrera as saying.
Gascon Faces Backlash
Gascon's decision has sparked outrage 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 said, "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."
"The victims will get no justice. The public will get no safety. George GascÃ³n has sacrificed the safety of the public, the rights of the victim, and justice in order to follow his own political ideology. It's an injustice against all of us, especially the young victims."