Sentencing pushed forward for man who pleaded no contest to lewd acts with a minor

OROVILLE, Calif. - The Tehama County District Attorney's Office confirmed that the sentencing for Dustin Hedrick will now be pushed up from October 16 to October 1 because of his early release from jail in Butte County last week.

Hedrick pleaded no contest to lewd acts with a minor both in Tehama and Butte counties.

It has been more than a week since Hedrick has been released from the Butte County Jail and on Friday, the father of one of Hedrick's victims shared his frustration, knowing that Hedrick is not behind bars.

"Why would they let a child molester out instead of another misdemeanor crime?" said the victim's father. He wanted to remain anonymous. "He's a threat to the community because a child molester doesn't change their spots. It's not a disease. It's not something that can be cured. It's not something, 'Oh, I won't do it again'."

Hedrick was supposed to be sentenced in Tehama County on August 6 for his felony charge, but it was postponed so he could finish jail time in Butte County. However, Hedrick was released the day after the hearing because the jail ran out of space.

"Every single day, we have to make difficult decisions about who to keep in jail and who we have to release out into the public," said Undersheriff Kory Honea.

Honea said the decision was frustrating but he had no choice.

"Everybody else in that unit were convicted felons," Honea said, "Mr. Hedrick was a convicted misdemeanant."

Hedrick is now done with his sentence in Butte County but because his court date in Tehama County was pushed back, he is a free man until October.

The victim's father was not pleased.

"At a minimum, he should be under some supervision," the victim's father said.

The Tehama County District Attorney agreed. When first contacted on Friday, Greg Cohen said he had not contacted Hedrick's lawyer to try to move the sentencing up. But by late Friday afternoon, that had changed, though not by much.

Sentencing was moved up by 15 days. Until then, Hedrick must wear an ankle monitor and cannot use electronic devices.

The sheriff's office said on Friday afternoon that they are looking into getting state funding to expand the jail to ensure a situation like this does not happen again.

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