Santa Rosa, CA – October 18, 2021 – Defendant James Edward Canada Sr., 57 years old of Santa Rosa and Rohnert Park, was sentenced today by the Honorable Robert LaForge to serve 24 years and 8 months in state prison after pleading no contest to multiple felony charges in September of this year.
In October of 2019 Canada was released on parole in Sonoma County following a prison sentence imposed as a result of his 2014 convictions for indecent exposure and annoying or molesting a child. In February 2020, while on parole, Canada was arrested in Rohnert Park for possessing a concealed knife and methamphetamine. As a result, his parole was revoked, and charges were filed. While Canada’s parole violation and open felony case were pending, Canada was released from custody in April 2020. Two days after his release, Canada was once again arrested in Rohnert Park, this time for masturbating in public which was directed at a woman and her 10-year-old child. Canada was again released from custody following his arrest for indecent exposure, and while in the community he failed to update his sex-offender registration.
In September Canada entered no contest pleas to seven felony offenses for a stipulated term of 24 years and 8 months to be served at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. The charges included possessing methamphetamine, possessing a concealed dirk or dagger, indecent exposure, annoying or molesting a child, child endangerment, and two offenses for failing to register as a sex offender. With the plea, Canada admitted that he was previously convicted of indecent exposure, as well as annoying or molesting a child. Canada also admitted a prior strike offense based on a conviction for assault with a deadly weapon.
In 2016, California voters approved Proposition 57 which causes Canada to be considered a “non-violent” offender. As a result of that classification, Canada will be able to earn credits against his prison sentence in excess of the 20% originally contemplated by the Three Strikes law. Additionally, offenders like Canada, who are now classified as “nonviolent,” can be considered for release back into the community after serving the sentence for one of his offenses. For example, although Canada was convicted of seven separate felony offenses with a sentence of 24 years and 8 months, Canada can be considered for release from prison after serving only the sentence from one offense, meaning in this case he will be eligible for parole consideration in 6 years.
District Attorney Ravitch stated, “This defendant was repeatedly released into the community over our objection where he continued to violate the law. Changes in the law mean he, and others, will serve less time incarcerated regardless of whether rehabilitated.”
The case was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Andrew Lukas. Officers with the Rohnert Park Department of Public Safety headed the investigation.