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In 2014, James Tubbs, two weeks shy of his 18th birthday, attacked a 10-year-old girl after following her into the bathroom at a Palmdale, Calif., Denny’s.
Tubbs held the little girl by the throat and forced his hands down her pants, according to the Daily Mail. The sexual assault stopped only when a patron entered the restroom and frightened the assailant off.
At the time, police said the suspect was a panhandler with the nickname “Shrink,” who frequented the nearby Chevron gas station early mornings. Tubbs then vanished.
In 2019, he was identified after being arrested in Idaho on suspicion of battery, thanks to DNA that was entered into a database. Tubbs was charged with the assault in early 2020 and was brought back to California. His rap sheet includes arrests in Washington and Idaho and charges that include battery, drug possession, assaults with deadly weapons, and probation violations.
Tubbs pleaded guilty to the 2014 sexual assault and will be sentenced later this month, but there’s a twist: James has transitioned, and now goes by “Hannah.”
Now, she could be allowed to serve her sentence under house arrest, thanks to the woefully woke Los Angeles County district attorney, George Gascon. For starters DA Gascon has refused to prosecute or sentence the now 26-year-old Tubbs as an adult, because the defendant was not quite 18 when the assault took place.
Gascon has said that he will not press for jail time in an adult facility, as the crime was committed while Tubbs was a minor. Tubbs instead faces a stay at a juvenile custody facility, despite being much too old for juvenile hall, or will be granted probation at a court, according to the LA Times.
The Sheriff’s Department has also offered to house Tubbs in an adult facility, likely a county jail. While prosecutors are seeking a two-year incarceration for Tubbs, Gascon told the Los Angeles Times he was concerned Tubbs, as a trans woman, could be victimized in an adult facility, adding that a probation report recommended home confinement.
Tubbs might also qualify as ‘developmentally disabled’ and has multiple mental illnesses, the LA Times reported.
“The defendant entered an open plea to the court, leaving it up to the judge to decide what the sentence should be,” said a spokesman for Gascon’s office. “Our office is seeking that he be placed in a custodial setting in a sheriff’s facility for two years.”
Understandably, Gascon’s approach has sparked widespread anger.
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,” she added. “Where is the justice for her young victim and her family?”
Jon Hatami, a prosecutor and supporter of the movement to recall Gascon, said Tubbs was too dangerous to be in the juvenile system, reported the Daily Mail.
“This clearly shows you the dangerous aspect of the blanket policies of George Gascon,” he said. “Here you have a person who has committed at least two sexual assaults of young girls, who is now 26 years old and has a history of violent conduct in the past.”
“This is not somebody who should appear in the juvenile system,” Hatami added.
LA County Deputy District Attorney, John McKinney, emphatically disagrees with Gascon’s decision.
“The DA is trying to distance himself from this result and lay blame on the judge when in fact, it’s only happened because of his policy against transferring juvenile cases to adult court,” said McKinney.
“Two years is a pathetic outcome for man who is a career criminal with felony convictions in multiple states and who committed forcible sexual assault on a 10-year-old girl in a Denny’s bathroom,” he continued. “What is happening is our district attorney is ushering him right out the door, back onto the streets of this county and God knows where else he might roam. It’s madness, it makes a mockery of our criminal justice system.”
Lt. Richard Ruiz with the LA County Sheriff’s Special Victims Unit – the same unit that investigated the Tubbs case in 2014 – expressed his department’s outrage on Fox LA.
“I would ask the public to reach out to Mr. Gascon and express their concerns and their outrage on a matter such as this involving a sexual predator,” he said.
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