A 26-year old man who identifies as transgender will be moved to a youth treatment center, despite prosecutor’s efforts to keep him confined to a Los Angeles County Jail.
James Tubbs, who now goes by the name Hannah, pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a 10 year old girl when he was 17 years old.
LA County prosecutors also said Tubbs would not have to register as a sex offender after completing his two-year sentence.
Tubbs was two weeks shy of his 18th birthday when he followed the girl into the bathroom of a Denny’s in Palmdale, California where he grabbed her by the throat and forced his hand down her pants. He only stopped his assault when someone entered the restroom, and then ran away before he could be detained.
A judge in Antelope Valley, California, ruled that Tubbs be sent to the juvenile detention facility “immediately”, where he will be kept with underage female prisoners.
Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón had ruled that Hannah Tubbs’ case would not move out of juvenile court earlier this month, stating that he would not press for jail time in an adult facility, as the crime was committed while Tubbs was a minor.
During Thursday’s hearing, Judge Mario Barrera stated repeatedly that he was limited to sentencing Tubbs to two years because the LA County District Attorney’s Office did not file a request to transfer the case to adult court.
“Judge Barrera’s hands were tied today — due to the fact that the DA’s office failed to file a motion to transfer Tubbs to adult criminal court, which is where [he] rightly belongs,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger of the judgment. “Instead, we’re left with a 26-year-old individual sentenced to two years in a juvenile facility in isolation, separated by sight and sound from the other juveniles.”
The victim, who is now 18, no longer lives in California. In a. statement she provided to the court, the young woman said she continues to live in fear. “I just wanted to forget I’m part of any of this,” said the victim in her statement.
“And I’m constantly reminded of my past because of this case. I live in fear most of the time, and although it’s something that I tried to tell myself isn’t my fault, I could never truly believe it. I feel that I’m to blame somehow, when I know deep down that isn’t the case.” She said, ending: “I chose not to come into court because I couldn’t stand the thought of having to see my attackers’ face again. And I hope, after all of this comes to an end my attacker gets the punishment he deserves for attacking a child with no problem and I can finally get on with my life.”
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