Sonora, California –– Tuolumne County District Attorney Cassandra Jenecke announced that today on May 17, 2023, former Groveland resident John Madewell, age 50, was found unsuitable for early parole and was issued a three year denial during a videoconference hearing with the Board of Parole Hearings (BPH). Commissioner Catherine Purcell and Deputy Commissioner Nancy Wong presided over the hearing and issued a unanimous decision. District Attorney Cassandra Jenecke appeared for Tuolumne County and Deputy District Attorney Rena Harrison appeared for Mariposa County.
In 2004, Madewell was sentenced to thirty-six years in state prison for seven counts of sexual abuse against four children for crimes that spanned over six years and two counties.
Madewell qualified for early parole consideration as a youthful offender under Penal Code section 3501(b)(1) because he was sentenced to a determinate, rather than a life, sentence and he committed his controlling offense when he was 25 years old or younger. As such, the survivors of Madewell's crimes have now had to participate in two parole hearings that were never anticipated at the time of his plea because of legislative changes beginning in 2014. Although he was given a three year denial in 2021, his hearing was advanced by over a year because he had continued to attend school, program, and had no disciplinary write-ups.
In 2021, the presiding panel noted a lack of insight into what motivated Madewell's crimes. Despite advancement of his hearing on the chance that his insight had improved, today's hearing demonstrated a continued lack insight. The risk he posed to the community if released was further supported by a Comprehensive Risk Assessment performed by a trained psychologist that rated Madewell at a moderate risk of violent reoffending. While Madewell had several support letters from education and religious affiliations, the survivors of his crimes and their families also submitted poignant letters opposing his release. Tuolumne County Sheriff Bill Pooley - who's office investigated the Tuolumne County incidents in 2003 - also sent a letter in opposition to Madewell's release.
"I am grateful for the panel's careful consideration today. It was clear to me that Madewell continued to lack adequate insight into what motivated his sexual violence. Because of that, his rehabilitation has been insufficient to mitigate the significant risk he poses to the community. I am also grateful to the survivors who continue to participate in this process. Their strength is unmatched and their voices were heard clearly today. However, I remain eternally frustrated that our system requires those survivors go through this incredibly difficult, scary, and often revictimizing experience to benefit their abuser." said DA Jenecke.
For more information, contact District Attorney Cassandra Jenecke at (209) 588 - 5450.