BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — This week the Kern County District Attorney’s Office announced an update on the case against former assembly candidate Julie Solis who was arrested for trespassing in Congressman Kevin McCarthy’s local office.
It was in Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s office in January of last year that former assembly candidate Julie Solis was arrested for trespassing. Now her case is one step closer to being closed after a judge granted her a diversion in the case. And while she thinks this is a fair outcome the Kern County District Attorney’s Office, disagrees.
On January 11, 2021, Solis went into McCarthy’s office and live-streamed the event on Facebook. She was later arrested for trespassing.
Solis says her goal was to speak to McCarthy as her representative about why he was silent following the January 6th insurrection.
“I went there with the intention of meeting some other organizers. I had approximately 15 other organizers that were going to be showing up that morning. We were going to be planning – I was leading to organize us to plan an action at McCarthy’s office in response to January 6.”
After she was arrested, the Kern County D.A.’s Office charged her with two counts of misdemeanor trespassing. Since then the case went before five different judges at 14 different hearings.
On July 6th when the trial was set to begin, Judge Gloria Cannon offered Solis a pretrial diversion, a rehabilitation program to avoid a criminal conviction for her charges.
23ABC In-Depth: What is a Diversion Program?
A diversion program provides an "alternative" to criminal prosecution. Instead of the defendant going through a trial, a judge may "divert" the case and order the defendant to complete specific terms, conditions, and programs. The United States Department of Justice says generally, a defendant may be eligible for a diversion program if they have not been convicted of or served probation, parole, or supervised release for any firearms-related offense, any sex offense, child abuse, or violent felony offense, within the past ten years.
“We have more murders here than any other county in the state of California, so the judge just felt that this wasn’t a valid case that needed to be using all these resources, so the judge offered to have my case closed,” said Solis.
If Solis was convicted on the trespassing charges she would have faced up to six months in jail.
An outcome that Assistant District Attorney Joseph Kinzel says is not a good use of taxpayer dollars.
"When a case is going to trial, to simply declare that the case is going to go by way of diversion, is a complete waste of public resources and it really erodes at the justice system."
Kinzel also adds that Solis clearly violated the laws in place and for that, she should have been held accountable.
“To say that going into and trespassing into and trespassing into someone's office and staying there for an hour ranting and raving is something that's not worth prosecuting is not true. I wouldn't want someone doing that in my office. I don't think most people would want anyone doing that in their office regardless of what their views are."
Since Solis never got a chance to speak with McCarthy and she cannot visit his office she still wants to talk.
“My message to Kevin McCarthy is that come November, the voters are going to remember. Come November, he’s out of here. How much can we really take? What is Kevin McCarthy really done for us? He hasn’t done anything for us.”
If Solis does not violate any terms of her diversion, which include not going to McCarthy's office and not committing any crimes, she says her case will be officially closed on January 6th of next year.
23ABC reached out to Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s office for a response to the case but has not heard back yet.