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Local Sex Offender Denied Early Parole

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Sonora, CA — Tuolumne County District Attorney Cassandra Jenecke is praising a state board decision to deny early parole for 47-year-old Justin Hatler.

The former Sonora resident pled guilty to both a felony charge of sexual assault of a child and a misdemeanor for sexual battery in 2015. Both offenses were to separate juvenile victims. He was sentenced to a 15-year to life sentence and was up for potential early parole after serving eight years.

District Attorney Cassandra Jenecke appeared with the two victims during the Board of Parole hearing. Hatler was found unsuitable for early parole and was issued a three-year denial.

Jenecke says, “It was clear to me during that hearing that Hatler continued to lack adequate insight into what motivated his sexual violence. The Panel was left confused by what drove him to commit these crimes and without clarity as to why, the risk of release was too great. I am also grateful to the survivors who bravely participated in this process. Their strength was unmatched and their voices in opposition of release were clear. However, our system requires our crime survivors to go through this incredibly difficult, scary, and often revictimizing experience to benefit their abuser earlier and more frequently in the process. While unfair and incredibly frustrating, this leaves our Office more determined than ever to support our survivors at these parole hearings.”