Man in sexual abuse case sentenced
A former Nevada County man convicted of sexually abusing a minor for almost 10 years could spend life in prison, after receiving his sentence Monday, authorities say.
Brian Hoobler, 54, was convicted last month on 13 out of 16 felony counts of sexual misconduct, all related to accusations that he molested and sexually assaulted a girl from the time that she was 4 years old up until she was 11 or 12.
On Monday, a Nevada County Superior Court judge sentenced Hoobler to 42 years in prison, with an additional sentence of 105 years to life to be served if Hoobler completes the 42-year sentence.
The 42-year sentence is determinate, meaning that it will be served in accordance with state sentencing requirements and is not subject to judicial discretion. The second sentence is indeterminate, meaning officials have some discretion as to whether the inmate ultimately serves the minimum or maximum in their sentencing range.
In Hoobler’s case, the combination of the 42 years and 105-to-life sentences all but mathematically guarantee that he will remain in prison for life.
The sentence is in line with what prosecutors were seeking, and is commensurate with the particularly heinous crimes Hoobler was convicted of, District Attorney Jesse Wilson said.
“The sentencing in this case was close to the maximum punishment given the nature of the defendant’s conduct as proved at the jury trial,” Wilson said. “The extreme nature of the conduct, the vulnerability of this victim, and the fact that these crimes went on throughout a large portion of the victim’s childhood all played a factor in this sentence.”
The district attorney also called the conviction and sentence a victory for law enforcement that worked on the case, citing both the thorough investigation of the original allegations against Hoobler by police, as well as the work done by county prosecutor Helenaz Hill, as being essential in bringing Hoobler to justice.
“From our perspective, this case was handled extraordinarily well both by Deputy District Attorney Hill, by Nevada County law enforcement, and by those who advocated for this victim,” Wilson said. Above all, he emphasized that the victim herself deserves the lion’s share of credit for both the investigation and ultimate conviction of Hoobler.
The victim, now in her 20s, originally came forward with the accusations against Hoobler in fall 2020. In addition to providing police with the information that led to Hoobler’s arrest, she also testified herself at his trial, telling jurors about an almost 10-year period in her childhood during which she says Hoobler raped and molested her repeatedly.
“Ultimately you have to give all the credit to the victim for having the courage to come forward to begin with,” Wilson said.
Stephen Wyer is a staff writer with The Union. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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