The outspoken prosecutor at the center of one of Los Angeles County Dist’s most controversial cases. Attention. George Gascón’s first term in office has been suspended for comments he made about a defendant’s gender identity.
Deputy Dist. Attention. Show accounts.
Sanna was also charged with “dead naming” Tubbs, meaning he referred to the defendant by her legal name rather than the name that correlated with her preferred gender identity, although Tubbs was listed by her legal name in some court documents.
In the Tubbs case, Gascón was heavily criticized for his general policy that prosecutors would not try minors as adults under any circumstances. Tubbs was 17 when she allegedly assaulted a 10-year-old girl in the bathroom of a Palmdale restaurant in 2014, but the crime went unsolved for years until Tubbs was linked through DNA.
Despite the fact that Tubbs was 26 and had accumulated a criminal record that included arrests for assault and assault by the time she was in a Los Angeles courtroom charged with assault, Gascón stuck to his youth policy, which resulted in the defendant receiving a short prison sentence. got. punishment for the sexual offense.
Sanna was one of several prosecutors and elected officials who disapproved of Gascón’s handling of the case. The district attorney later apologized for the way the case turned out after leaked prison calls showed Tubbs calling the child victim “meat” and leading Gascón to publicly question the validity of Tubbs’ gender identity claims.
“It’s a shame she abused the system,” Gascón said last year. “If I had to do it all over again, she would be prosecuted in adult court.”
Within weeks, Gascón changed his juvenile prosecution policy, creating a committee that could approve requests to try to transfer teenage suspects to adult court under extreme circumstances. The commission has approved three cases for transfer in the past year, the data shows, and one of those petitions was rejected by a judge last week.
In an interview Tuesday, Sanna said he referred to Tubbs with masculine pronouns because he thought she identified as transgender in an effort to gain leniency and called the suspension retaliation for his criticism of Gascón.
“They’re trying to frame me to get fired, and they’re trying to shut me up,” Sanna said. “So if that’s their goal, I’m just going to talk more.”
The union representing ordinary prosecutors also filed an unfair labor practice claim on Sanna’s behalf last year.
Tiffiny Blacknell, a spokeswoman for the district attorney’s office, said she was unable to comment on a personnel matter, but noted that the suspension was the result of an independent investigation into violations of the county’s fairness policy.
“The transgender community is often the target of violent attacks. They are also reluctant to come forward and report their attacks because of how they are treated in the criminal justice system,” she said in a statement. “The LADA office takes seriously our responsibility to treat all people with respect and dignity, regardless of their gender identity.”
In a seven-page letter detailing Sanna’s discipline that was reviewed by The Times, the prosecutor’s office said Sanna misrepresented Tubbs on multiple occasions, including a case strategy meeting in January 2022 and repeatedly on Twitter.
“Through your use of social media, you continued to misinterpret and dead-name this person and use abusive and demeaning language related to the person’s personal transition process,” the letter said. “You took it upon yourself to draw conclusions about the authenticity of the individual’s claim that they were transgender.”
At the January rally, Sanna also alleged to supervisors that Tubbs had “used gender identity as a conspiracy within the youth system.”
When Sanna was first placed under internal investigation last year, The Times also found records showing he had been accused of making racist remarks calling black teens “hyenas” and expressing a desire to physically hit a teen . Sanna said the comments were taken out of context. It is unclear if those allegations are still under investigation.
In May, Kern County prosecutors charged Tubbs with a 2019 murder in Lake Isabella. That case will be tried at the end of March, the data shows.