Santa Rosa, CA – May 3, 2021 – Defendant Joseph Nin, 36 years old of Windsor, was sentenced today by the Honorable Mark Urioste after pleading "no contest" in March of this year to a felony charge of Filing a False Report. Additional felony charges of Perjury and Grand Theft were dismissed as part of a plea bargain. Nin, a former juvenile corrections counselor employed by the Sonoma County Probation Department, was sentenced to 90 days jail or work release, followed by 24 months of felony probation, the legal limit for most felonies under a new law passed last year by the California state legislature.
Nin had been employed as a Juvenile Corrections Officer in the juvenile detention facility at Los Guillicos. He also ran his own construction business. In October, 2014, 2 minors who were detained in the facility engaged in a brief altercation. Nin, who was on duty at that time, intervened and was injured in the exchange. As a result, one of the minors was charged with battery on a custodial officer. The minor admitted that charge, and a restitution hearing was held to determine what if any financial losses were suffered by Nin. Nin filed official documents and testified under oath at the hearing that he was required to have surgery, and that the injury caused him to lose two separate construction bids. He testified before the Honorable Kenneth J. Gnoss that he was unable to perform the work because of the injury, and that both customers cancelled their contracts. Nin claimed that he had lost over $20,000 as a result. Based on Nin's testimony, the court ordered the minor's parents to pay that amount back in restitution.
Through a lengthy appeals process, it was discovered that Nin's claim, and his sworn testimony, had been fabricated. While he did sustain some injury that required medical intervention, he did not lose either of the construction bids. In fact, he completed the work and was paid in full by both customers.
In 2020, the Sonoma County District Attorney's Office became aware of the fabricated testimony and launched its own criminal investigation into the probation officer's conduct, subsequently filing the felony charge. As part of his plea Nin agreed to pay back the money he fraudulently received from the family of the minor. He also issued an apology letter to the court and to the victim. Nin is currently no longer employed by the Sonoma County Probation department or any government agency.
District Attorney Jill Ravitch stated, "This defendant was entrusted with the care and custody of minors in trouble with the law. For someone in his position to take advantage of the system for financial gain is incredibly disappointing."
The case was prosecuted by Chief Deputy District Attorney Anne C Masterson, assisted by District Attorney Investigator Matthew Stapleton.