A 26-year old transgender woman who pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a 10-year-old girl will be moved to a youth treatment center, despite prosecutor’s efforts to keep her in a Los Angeles County Jail.
LA County prosecutors said Hannah Tubbs, who identifies as female, also would not have to register as a sex offender once she finishes her two-year sentence.
Tubbs, who was busted for molesting a 10-year-old when she was a 17-year-old juvenile, will be sent to the kids lock up after LA County District Attorney George 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.
A judge in Antelope Valley, Calif. ruled Thursday that Tubbs would be moved to the youth treatment center immediately, where she will be kept with juvenile female prisoners.
“You have a violent sexual predator sentenced to two years in a juvenile facility,” said Deputy District Attorney Shea Sanna after the hearing. “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.”
Tubbs was 17 years old when she grabbed a 10-year-old girl and put her hands down her pants in a stall at a Denny’s in Palmdale, Calif.
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.
During Thursday’s hearing, Judge Mario Barrera reiterated several times 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.
Attorney Justin W. Clark, who represented LA County in the case, argued Thursday that the court has the ability to allow the Probation Department to decide that Tubbs should stay in the adult county jail because the law states individuals who are over 19 years old should remain in an adult facility.
Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger said the outcome of Thursday’s judgment was unsatisfactory.
“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 she rightly belongs. 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,” Barger said in a statement.
“To carry out justice, all of the oars in the criminal justice system must be rowing in the same direction. Today, that simply didn’t happen.”
Because Tubbs is now recognized in California as a female, she will be housed with other female juveniles at the facility where she will be transferred. However, Clark said Tubbs would be housed alone.
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.
Jonathan Hatami, a deputy district attorney with the Complex Child Abuse Unit, said Gascón’s decision not to transfer the case out of juvenile court sacrificed the public’s safety and the victim’s rights.
“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,” Hatami told the Post.
“The victims will get no justice. The public will get no safety. George Gascón 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.”