A man serving a 385-year prison sentence for a child sexual abuse case in Napa more than a quarter century ago has been denied release by a California parole board, according to the Napa County District Attorney's Office.
In a videoconference hearing, the Board of Parole Hearings ruled that Ronald Eugene Hoffman, 67, must remain behind bars for the molestation of three children, the office of District Attorney Allison Haley announced Wednesday in a news release.
It was the first parole hearing for Hoffman, who was arrested by Napa Police in December 1994 and is serving 385 years to life at the California Institution for Men in Chino, east of Los Angeles. He will next be eligible for parole consideration in 2030.
Hoffman, who had previous convictions for child murder and molestation, was arrested in connection with the abuse of children ages 6, 4 and 3 over about a one-year period, and recorded the abuse on videotape, according to statement, which said authorities found a VHS tape in Hoffman's car at the time he was detained.
Hoffman pleaded guilty to 15 counts of forcible child molestation, resulting in his de facto life sentence. Under California's Elderly Parole Program, state inmates who are 60 or older and have been incarcerated at least 25 years may be eligible for parole.
Assistant District Attorney Paul Gero appeared at the hearing to argue against Hoffman's release, citing the nature of the sex crimes and the inmate's criminal sophistication, disregard for the victims, lack of remorse and the risk to children in the community, according to the statement.
“The members of Parole Board agreed that Hoffman poses an unreasonable risk of current dangerousness if released into the community,” the District Attorney's Office wrote. “They noted that the crimes were exceptionally cruel and Hoffman lacked the understanding of why those choices were made. The Board also emphasized that the parole plans were not fully formed and he needed the tools to change once outside of prison.”
Hoffman's parole hearing was conducted over video due to social distancing requirements during the coronavirus pandemic, which has led California to declare a stay-at-home order since March 20.
You can reach Howard Yune at 707-256-2214 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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