Prosecutor in Palmdale abuse case was victim of child abuse staff via KABC logo
Wednesday, November 15, 2017
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The prosecutor in the Gabriel Fernandez case was overwhelmed with emotion as he spoke in a post-verdict press conference revealing that he was a victim of child abuse himself.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- After a Palmdale man was found guilty of first-degree murder in the torturous death of 8-year-old Gabriel Fernandez, the prosecutor in the case was emotional over the victory and admitted he, too, was a victim of child abuse.

Deputy District Attorney Jonathan Hatami was seen crying as he embraced Gabriel's biological father after the guilty verdict was announced on Wednesday.

In a post-verdict press conference, Hatami was overwhelmed with emotion and revealed that as a father and as a victim of child abuse himself, the case was difficult for him.

"The most important job, I think, for a man is being a dad 'cause you shape children, and it shapes the community. I was a victim of child abuse and so, yeah, it's difficult to deal with," he said, as he held back tears.

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The former U.S. Army veteran said he's involved with child abuse cases because he believes children "need somebody to fight for them."

"I think that being a victim of child abuse, you feel powerless and no one's there to help you," he added.

He went on to say that although he's passionate about the subject, every case is different and he has a professional responsibility to prove cases beyond reasonable doubt.

Hatami said that while he believes most people in the world are good people, there are some who are simply bad. In this case, he said, he believes that some justice has been served.

"Some closure can be felt by Gabriel's family as far as at least they feel that the system, and I'm part of the system, the system is trying to make some things right," he said. "And this is a small part in that."