Apr 25, 2016

Judge Hinrichs uses Court's discretion to give jail time to Jarnaghan; she felt it needed to be "demonstrated to the community that our young people are not be preyed upon."




Before she announced her tentative decision in the William Jarnaghan case, Judge Joyce Hinrichs said, "This case is a guarantee of probation, after consulting with the victim's family. I think it is unfortunate and that if Mr. Jarnaghan had accepted responsibility from the beginning...this is really a disservice to the victim and her family."

"We live in a small community, what affects one person affects the whole community," said Judge Hinrichs. Addressing Jarnaghan she said she agreed with, "the message you said in your letter that Jane Doe should not be blamed or have any difficulty moving about in this community."

"We need to think if this were to happen in our family or or if this was one of our family members, to put ourselves in that place and not to blame someone," said Judge Hinrichs. "We are supposed to protect our children and keep them safe."

Judge Hinrichs said that she intended to follow probation's reccomendation of 365 days in the Humboldt County jail. "If it was not for the positive portrayal, " she said to Jarnaghan, "this would not be a probation case or a single count." Judge Hinrichs said she was not comfortable with any less jail time and felt that it needed to be "demonstrated to the community that out young people are not be preyed upon."

Mr. Neal Sanders, Jarnaghan's attorney responded, "The idea that the community demand my client serve one year in custody, for his first offense, even though it is a sexual offense...I believe my client is being punished because it is a small community, this is not appropriate use of discretion. Whatever the Court does is not going to ameliorate anything between the two families."

Mr. Sanders asked Judge Hinrichs to strike conditions 14, 15, 16, and 17 from the probation report. he said substance abuse had "no relationship to this offense."

The other condition he wanted stricken was that "he will not associate with any female under the age of 18. His daughter is 16; his niece is 17."

"In some ways, it is a matter of perspective," Judge Hinrich's said, after Mr. Sander's had finished addressing the court on his client's behalf.

"The Court is not coming up with a verdict due to the emotions of someone in high school," said Judge Hinrichs. This was in response to a statement Mr. Sanders had made. "While the sentence is 365 days, we are only talking about him serving 182 days."

"If it were not a promise of probation, it would be state prison or probation, so 182 days is not bad" said Judge Hinrichs. "I have the ability to reject the plea. Frankly, I was okay with probation because it was significant."

"It needs to be clear when an adult with such an age difference engages in such conduct."

Judge Hinrichs did strike conditions # 14, 15, 16 and 17 and since there were letters from both Jarnaghan's niece and daughter, Judge Hinrichs modified the no contact with any female under the age of 18 to "except for anyone living with the defendant."


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