Gascon
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LA District Attorney George Gascón slammed by critics
Los Angeles' top prosecutor is under fire for allowing a transgender woman who sexually assaulted a 10-year-old girl as a minor to face a no-jail wrist-slap sentence.

Hannah Tubbs, now 26, pleaded guilty to attacking the girl in a women's bathroom at a Denny's restaurant in 2014, two weeks before she turned 18, the Los Angeles Times reported.

LA District Attorney George Gascón filed charges against Tubbs in early 2020, not long after taking office. But the progressive DA has refused to try juveniles as adults, citing studies that show adolescent brains aren't fully developed until age 25 and claiming that young offenders can be rehabilitated in juvenile facilities.

At a hearing on December 14, the victim provided a written statement to the judge and was read out loud in court. She asked the judge to impose a sentence that Tubbs "deserved."

The victim added she is in constant fear and has had to undergo therapy because the sexual assault she experienced has left her feeling worthless, powerless and sometimes suicidal. The victim said in her statement:
"I just wanted to forget I'm part of any of this. 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. 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."
At her sentencing later this month, Tubbs faces a short stint in a juvenile hall or probation, according to the LA Times, which reported that the Sheriff's Department has offered to house her in an adult facility.

The potential punishment, however, has drawn backlash for being too lax.

Lt. Richard Ruiz of the LA County Sheriff's Department's Special Victims Bureau, Fox LA reported:
"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."
Ruiz noted that Tubbs has also been arrested for battery, drug possession and probation violations in Idaho and Washington. She was convicted of assault with a deadly weapon in Kern County, CA, and also had been accused of sexually assaulting a minor but was not prosecuted, the LA Times reported, citing Ruiz and court records.

Jonathan Hatami, a Deputy District Attorney in the Complex Child Abuse Unit, said since Tubbs' case remained in juvenile court, she will not have to register as a sex offender. Hatami told the Post:
"In most cases, juveniles should be adjudicated and rehabilitated in juvenile court. Juveniles are our future and deserve every opportunity to succeed in life. However, there are some cases where the juvenile has committed a violent crime against an innocent victim and is dangerous to society. Tubbs is one of those cases. She is now 26-years-old. Unlike George Gascon's false narrative, she is not a 'kid.' She has a violent criminal record as an adult. She has also sexually assaulted two young girls in different incidents. Young innocent girls who will now have to deal with lifelong trauma. Tubbs' case should be handled in adult court. That will provide safety to the public, punishment, accountability, and justice for the victim."
Gascon now faces a second recall effort over his policies and reforms, which often ease potential sentences for murder suspects. The Beverly Hills City Council voted unanimously earlier this month to support the effort.

Karen Roseberry, a rep for the group Recall Gascon Now, Fox News reported:
"Beverly Hills Vice Mayor Lili Bosse stressed that without consequences for crime, we have Gotham City. Her sentiments were shared by others on the council as well."
LA County Supervisor Kathryn Barger told the LA Times in a statement:
"It's useless to catch criminals like [Tubbs] if we don't follow through and seek justice for victims such as the 10-year-old girl [she] sexually assaulted.

"She bears the burden of a lifetime of trauma. [She] 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?"
LA County Deputy District Attorney John McKinney said,
"What is happening is our district attorney is ushering [her] right out the door, back onto the streets of this county and God knows where else [she] might roam. It's madness, it makes a mockery of our criminal justice system."
When asked by Fox LA why the case wouldn't be transferred to adult court, the LA County District Attorney's Office said in a statement:
"The defendant entered an open plea to the court, leaving it up to the judge to decide what the sentence should be. Our office is seeking that [she] be placed in a custodial setting in a sheriff's facility for two years."
But McKinney slammed the statement, saying:
"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.

"Two years is a pathetic outcome for a [person] 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.

"[She] fled from the restaurant, and [she] went unidentified for several years until a cold DNA hit identified [her] as someone who was arrested in the state of Idaho."
Tubbs grabbed the young victim by her throat and put her hand down her pants inside a stall before being interrupted by someone who entered the bathroom at the restaurant, according to the LA Times.

Tubbs reportedly amassed an extensive rap sheet that included assaults with deadly weapons.

Gascon told the LA Times that the case was complicated by the amount of time that had elapsed between the attack and Tubbs' arrest, her criminal record and the impact the crime had on the girl.

The victim, who has since moved away from California, is undergoing therapy and did not want to testify at the trial, he said.

The DA also expressed concern that Tubbs would be victimized if incarcerated in an adult facility as a trans woman and cited a probation report that actually recommended home confinement. The newspaper also reviewed an email that said Tubbs has been diagnosed with mental illnesses and might also qualify as "developmentally disabled."

One of Tubbs' lawyers declined to discuss the case, telling the outlet that state law barred them from doing so.

Manhattan's new District Attorney Alvin Bragg has unveiled progressive policies similar to Gascon's, including downgrading some felony charges to misdemeanors and no longer seeking prison sentences in certain cases.