Prosecutor Remarks Asian Man Pleading to Child Porn Should Be Imprisoned because He Could ‘Go to China’ – Judge Disagrees

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By Sahaily Zazueta

WOODLAND, CA – Yifan Sun was sentenced this week in Yolo County Superior Court for felony possession of more than 600 images of child pornography.

As Judge David Reed considered granting Sun probation, Deputy District Attorney Deanna Hays argued probation should be denied for a variety of reasons, including the possibility that Sun could flee to China.

At the beginning of the sentencing, Judge Reed stated that the court had accepted a plea to the charges with an indicated disposition that it would grant Sun probation. The court read and considered the probation report and indicated that it would be appropriate to grant probation.

DDA Hays objected to Sun being placed on probation, stating that Sun’s plea was over the objection in which the prosecution was offering a state prison term. DDA Hays stated the prosecution was concerned that the court’s justification for granting probation was insufficient.

DDA Hays stated that there was no evidence, such as a mental health evaluation, to indicate that Sun would not reoffend, “because there is no explanation for why it happened in the first place,” arguing there was no evidence to indicate sex offending counseling and classes would have an effect on Sun.

DDA Hays also said, without providing basis, Sun should not be placed on probation because he could flee the country during the night, explaining, “He can flee the country to a non-extradition country such as his home residence, so it would be very simple for Mr. Sun to get on a plane tonight, go to China, and we never see him again.”

Sun’s attorney Daniel Kolacia stated he believed the conditions of Sun’s probation would be effective, including the supervision of his internet accounts, random spot searches, polygraph examinations and no encrypted information.

Kolacia also stated that the probation department reported that Sun would be responsive to the sex offender treatment program, which is “a lot more amenable than if he is just thrown (in prison) and they throw away the key.”

Kolacia also reported that probation had conducted a risk assessment for Sun, which considered his age and his compliance to disclose his passwords to law enforcement, and determined Sun is low risk.

Judge Reed stated that the charges Sun pleaded no contest to are charges that are appropriate for either probation or state prison. Judge Reed found that the circumstances in this case led the court to believe that state prison is not justified and probation is appropriate.

The circumstances in this case considered by Judge Reed when deciding if probation was appropriate included Sun’s age, his lack of a prior record, and his lack of criminal sophistication.

Judge Reed noted Sun endorsed the harm committed by others by having viewed images of child pornography, but “he is not doing it personally… not to say that it is not serious.”

Judge Reed sentenced Sun to two years of formal probation and 364 days in jail. If Sun successfully completes probation, he will not have to complete 184 of those days. Sun must serve the remaining 180 days in jail or in an alternative program such as home arrest.

If Sun has not signed up for an alternative program by May 19, he is to turn himself in at the Yolo County Jail.

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About The Author

Sahaily is a senior undergraduate student at California State University Long Beach, majoring in Criminal Justice with a minor in Human Development. She aspires to become a public defender.

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