Hannah Tubbs, a transgender California inmate convicted of molesting a child in a case that sparked massive criticism of Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón over his office's handling of the prosecution, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to unrelated murder and robbery charges.
Tubbs appeared in a Kern County courtroom in Bakersfield to face charges connected to the April 21, 2019 death of Michael Clark.
Tubbs is being held in Kern County jail on $1 million bond and is being detained in a men's jail. Prosecutors are referring to the suspect by birth name James Edward Tubbs.
Tubbs became the center of controversy earlier this year after pleading guilty to a 2014 assault on a young girl inside a Denny's restaurant bathroom when the then-suspect was just weeks from turning 18. Prosecutors said Tubbs grabbed the girl by the throat, locked her in a stall, and put her hand down the girl’s pants.
Tubbs pleaded guilty to the attack, though the incident took place when Tubbs was two weeks shy of 18 and identified as a male. When authorities arrested Tubbs roughly eight years after the crime, the suspect, began identifying as a woman, according to prosecutors.
Tubbs was sentenced to two years in a juvenile facility but could be released as early as June, prosecutors told Fox News. Gascon's office declined to move the child molestation case to adult court as part of his directive that minor offenders be tried in juvenile court, even for serious crimes.
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- 'DA’s office failed': Barger criticizes lenient sentence for confessed child molester
The original prosecutor on the case, Shea Sanna, was also removed. He has since become one of his boss' more ardent critics.
Tubbs will not be required to register as a sex offender. After the conviction, Tubbs was later caught on a jailhouse phone call bragging about the light sentence, prompting Gascón to re-evaluate his policies on how minors are prosecuted.
Tubbs is due back in court on May 20.
Fox News' Audrey Conklin contributed to this report.