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Los Angeles DA Suspends Deputy DA For Allegedly ‘Deadnaming,’ Misgendering Trans Child Molester

Los Angeles, CA – The Los Angeles deputy district attorney who prosecuted a 26-year-old transgender suspect convicted of grabbing a 10-year-old girl by the throat and sexually assaulting her in a restaurant bathroom has been suspended for allegedly misgendering the defendant.

Hannah Tubbs, a transgender woman also known as James Tubbs, identified as male at the time of the 2014 attack on the little girl, but started identifying as female after she was arrested for the offense years later, according to FOX News.

Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney Shea Sanna, who was lead prosecutor for a portion of the case against Tubbs, said he notified two of Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon’s top aides in January of last year that jailhouse recordings had revealed Tubbs was trying to use gender identity to game the justice system, according to FOX News.

Tubbs also made multiple explicit remarks about the 10-year-old victim, which FOX News refused to print due to their callousness.

“I was young and I was hungry for some meat,” she was recorded saying at one point, according to the Los Angeles Times.

On one call, Tubbs told the person he was talking to that they needed to use female pronouns when speaking about her.

“They’re going to put me with other trannies that have seen their cases like mine or with one tranny like me that has a case like mine,” Tubbs said, according to FOX News. “So, when you come to court, make sure you address me as her.”

“I know it will be hard, but you have to do it,” she added, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Sources said the recordings were made between November of 2021 and mid-January of 2022, and that Gascon’s office was well aware of them, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Sanna said he was pulled off of the case the day after he notified his supervisors about Tubbs’ comments.

Law enforcement sources said Gascon recently suspended Sanna for allegedly “deadnaming” and misgendering the convicted sex offender, FOX News reported.

Sanna’s allegations that Tubbs was trying to manipulate the justice system using gender identity reportedly made people in Gascon’s office uncomfortable and resulted in Sanna’s suspension, according to the news outlet.

The deputy district attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Friday regarding his suspension, FOX News reported.

In addition to being a convicted child molester, Tubbs is currently facing murder and robbery charges in Kern County in connection with the 2019 death of Michael Clark.

Clark was beaten to death with a rock in the woods, according to investigators.

Jail records in the Kern County case list the defendant’s name as James Tubbs, while court records identify her as Hannah Tubbs, FOX News reported.

The next hearing in that case is slated to take place in March.

Tubbs was previously sentenced to two years in a youth treatment facility due to Gascon’s refusal to try her as an adult for sexually assaulting a 10-year-old girl in the bathroom of a Denny’s restaurant on New Year’s Day of 2014, KTTV reported.

Tubbs was two weeks shy of her 18th birthday at the time of the attack.

Prosecutors said Tubbs identified as a male at the time, but started identifying as female when she was arrested for the offense years later, according to FOX News.

Since shortly after taking office in December of 2020, Gascon has generally refused to prosecute juvenile offenders as adults, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The progressive district attorney defended his sweeping policy change by citing studies that indicate the human brain isn’t fully developed until the age of 25.

He has argued that putting young adults in adult prisons would only make them more hardened, but that they could be rehabilitated if kept in the juvenile court system, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Tubbs was recorded in a jailhouse phone call laughing and bragging about the fact that she wouldn’t have to register as a sex offender or to serve time in prison due to Gascon’s policies, FOX News reported.

“I’m gonna plead out to it, plead guilty,” she said in one recording. “They’re gonna stick me on probation, and it’s gonna be dropped, it’s gonna be done, I won’t have to register, won’t have to do nothing.”

Tubbs’ father asked her if she would be required to register as a sex offender, at which point Tubbs gloated she “won’t have to do none of that,” according to FOX News.

“So, what are they going to do to you then?” her father inquired.

“Nothing!” she responded before breaking into laughter.

Due to Gascon’s refusal to prosecute her as an adult, the most California Superior Court Judge Mario Barrera could legally sentence her to was two years in a juvenile facility, the Los Angeles Times reported.

“I want to be clear. The filing of a transfer motion is entirely within the discretion of the district attorney,” Barrera said during a hearing on Jan. 27.

The judge noted he was “extremely limited” in the sentences he could impose due to Gascon’s refusal to transfer the case to adult court, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Sanna said Barrera’s “hands were tied” because of Gascon’s policy, FOX News reported.

Gascon released a statement in February of 2022 claiming he had no knowledge about any of Tubbs’ jailhouse comments until after she was sentenced.

“Ms. Tubbs had several charges in other counties after the juvenile offense but never received any services which both her past behavior and that subsequent to her arrest demonstrates she clearly needs,” Gascon said, according to FOX News. “After her sentencing in our case, I became aware of extremely troubling statements she made about her case, the resolution of it and the young girl that she harmed.”

Gascon claimed his office “learned a lot from the Hannah Tubbs case about the need for a policy safety valve.”

“Like every responsible office, we learn as we go, take feedback from the community, and make necessary adjustments based on our experiences and the complex nature of this work,” he wrote, according to FOX News.

Prosecutors said the 2014 attack occurred at a Denny’s restaurant in Palmdale, KTTV reported.

Tubbs grabbed the child by the throat, locked her inside a stall, then shoved her hand down the girl’s pants and sexually assaulted her, according to the Los Angeles Times.

“[Tubbs] immediately attacked her, restrained her, and he physically penetrated her in a sexual manner,” Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney John McKinney told KTTV.

The attack only ended when someone walked into the bathroom, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Tubbs fled the restaurant and wasn’t apprehended until 2019, when a DNA sample taken from her in connection with a burglary arrest in Idaho linked her to the 2014 assault.

“He went unidentified for several years until a cold DNA hit identified him as someone who was arrested in the state of Idaho,” McKinney told KTTV.

McKinney said Tubbs racked up a slew of other criminal charges after sexually assaulting the little girl, to include being convicted of multiple assaults with deadly weapons.

Tubbs has also been arrested on probation violation, battery, and drug possession offenses out of both Washington state and Idaho, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Jonathan Hatami, who works in the Complex Child Abuse Unit, told the New York Post that the little girl isn’t Tubbs’ only victim.

“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,” Hatami said. “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 had a very lengthy criminal record before George Gascon allowed Tubbs to be sentenced to minimal time in a juvenile facility, which included arrests and convictions for murder, robbery, assault with a deadly weapon, domestic violence and even a prior sexual assault of a four-year-old girl,” Hatami told FOX News.

The four-year-old was allegedly molested by Tubbs in a library in August of 2013 as the little girl’s mother was looking at books “just a few aisles” away, according to Hatami.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

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Written by Holly Matkin


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