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For Immediate Release

Victims Speak Out as Santa Rosa Child Molester Sentenced to Life in Prison

SANTA ROSA, CA | June 01, 2023

Defendant Thomas Anthony Yanes, 62 years old of Santa Rosa, was sentenced today by the Honorable Mark Urioste to serve 30 years to life in prison. Yanes had previously entered a guilty plea to four offenses including aggravated sexual assault of a child, sexual penetration of a child 10 years of age or younger, and two separate offenses involving lewd acts committed upon a child under the age of 14. Yanes committed his offenses against four separate children. 

The charges against Yanes all stemmed from four separate investigations by the Santa Rosa Police Department. In early 2022, one victim came forward to report historic abuse at the hands of Yanes. She described a series of molestations over a three-year period between 2007 and 2009. During this time, Yanes normalized abusive behavior while manipulating this child to maintain her silence. The first victim to come forward additionally reported that there may be other children who were victimized by Yanes as well. By July 2022 three additional victims also came forward to be interviewed. Each victim shared their account of grooming and abuse by Yanes during their childhood. Based on the victims’ statements, detectives with the Santa Rosa Police Department arrested Yanes in November 2022, and Yanes was then charged with twelve different offenses involving sexually assaulting children who were between the ages of ten and twelve.

At sentencing, impact statements were read by family and an advocate. They described the betrayal of trust, the harm caused, the danger Yanes presented to the community, and the steps they have taken to recover from these abuses. Parents also spoke and highlighted the pain and damage which had been inflicted upon their families. Before pronouncing sentence, Judge Urioste called the Defendant’s actions “terrible”. He acknowledged that nothing he could say would give closure, while commending the women for their efforts to heal.

The case was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Brian Morimune. Detective Matthew Sanchez of the Santa Rosa Police Department’s Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Unit headed the investigation.


Contact Information

Media Spokesperson, Chief Deputy District Attorney Brian Staebell
Media Coordinator, Carrie Trevena
(707) 565-3098