Sonora, California –– Tuolumne County District Attorney Cassandra Jenecke announced today that on May 12, 2023, former Big Oak Flat resident Charles Littlejohn-Zabel Junior was found at court trial to be a sexually violent predator and committed to the Department of State Hospitals for treatment.
Mr. Littlejohn-Zabel, now 29, was convicted of committing a felony Lewd Act Upon a Child Under Age 14 in 2012 in Tuolumne County and was sentenced to state prison. Before his release from that sentence, he was evaluated to determine if he qualified for treatment under Welfare and Institutions Code §6600, also known as the Sexually Violent Predator Act. Inmates convicted of qualifying sexual offenses, who serve a state prison sentence, are later evaluated under this statute and if found to meet the criteria they are then referred to the district attorney’s office who prosecuted the case leading to the state prison commitment. The district attorney determines whether a petition seeking civil commitment for treatment under the Act should be filed with the court. When a petition is filed, the inmate is given the right to a jury trial to determine whether they shall be set free or committed for secure treatment in a state hospital.
This week, Mr. Littlejohn-Zabel waived his right to a jury trial and instead proceeded by way of a court trial where he was found beyond a reasonable doubt to be a fit subject for treatment under the provisions of the SVP Act because he poses a substantial danger to the health and safety of others based on a serious and well-founded risk that he will engage in sexually violent predatory criminal behavior if he is released at this time into the community. The court committed Mr. Littlejohn-Zabel to Coalinga State Hospital for treatment. He will be re-evaluated on a yearly basis to determine whether he continues to be a present a substantial risk to re-offend.
The case was prosecuted by Samantha Arnerich.
For More Information: Samantha Arnerich, (209) 588 - 5450