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Crime

Child molester may get off with no jail time, fueling recall campaign against Los Angeles District Attorney

Gascon was elected with help from leftist billionaire George Soros, who donated $2.25 million to his campaign

Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon
El fiscal de distrito del condado de Los Ángeles, George Gascon. | Shutterstock

January 18, 2022 5:20pm

Updated: January 19, 2022 10:26pm

Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon is under fire for his soft-on-crime policies that may lead to a transgender woman who sexually assaulted a 10-year-old girl as a minor getting away with little if any jail time, sparking outrage and fueling the second recall campaign against him. 

Then-James Tubbs allegedly hid in the stall of a Denny’s bathroom in 2014 and grabbed a 10-year-old girl who entered. Prosecutors say Tubbs then locked her in the stall, shoved her hand down the girl’s pants and sexually assaulted her, stopping only after someone else entered the restroom, reported the Los Angeles Times.

Tubbs fled, and the case went cold until a DNA match was found from a 2019 arrest in Idaho. Tubbs had transitioned, identifying as a woman, and was known as Hannah. She had racked up a lengthy criminal record since 2014, including assault with a deadly weapon and another charge of sexually assaulting a minor that never went to court.

Gascon charged her shortly after taking office in 2020 but as a minor, not an adult because she was 17 at the time of the incident. The progressive D.A. has refused to try juveniles as adults, citing studies that show adolescent brains are not fully developed until age 25 and claiming young offenders can be rehabilitated.

Tubbs, now 26, pleaded guilty to attacking the girl. She only faces a short stay in juvenile hall or probation at her sentencing later this month.

The potential punishment has sparked outrage from law enforcement, politicians and advocates for child abuse prevention for being too lax, stoking the recall campaign against Gascon.

“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,” said Lt. Richard Ruiz of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Special Victims Bureau, a local Fox station reported.

“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,” LA County Supervisor Kathryn Barger said in a statement.

“This clearly shows you the dangerous aspect of the blanket policies of George Gascón,” said Jon Hatami, a longtime prosecutor of crimes against children and a leading voice in the recall movement.

LA County Deputy District Attorney John McKinney said Gascon’s decision “makes a mockery of our criminal justice system.”

“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,” McKinney said.

Sentencing is complicated by the fact Tubbs is now too old to be housed in a juvenile facility. The LA Sheriff’s department has offered to house her in an adult facility, likely a county jail.

The Los Angeles Times reported the victim has since moved away from California and remains in therapy. She did not want to testify at Tubbs’s trial.

Gascon was elected with help from leftist billionaire George Soros, who donated $2.25 million to his campaign.