hatami’s story

Early Life.

Jonathan’s story begins like many in Los Angeles. His father – a teacher – immigrated from Iran in search of a better life and opportunities in America. His mother of mixed heritage, who was born in Brooklyn, was a nurse. The family struggled to make ends meet and provide for their young family in New York City.

Growing up, Jonathan was a victim of child abuse at the hands of his father. Recalling that period of his life he said, “I know what it feels like to be powerless.”

His parents separated and battled for custody of their two children. His mother was granted temporary custody. Fearing his father would flee with the children back to Iran, his mother kidnapped Jonathan and his younger brother, and fled to Florida. After about a year, Jonathan, his brother and mom eventually ended up in Los Angeles.

Jonathan’s father searched for his missing children, contacting law enforcement and other groups that help find missing kids. Jonathan and his brother were featured in an edition of The Ladies’ Home Journal as “missing children.” In the early 1980’s someone recognized the boys and a reunion with Jonathan’s father soon followed.

Jonathan’s struggles didn’t end there. As a troubled teen, Jonathan had his own brush with the juvenile justice system. However, he was able to graduate from Canyon High School in Santa Clarita, and in an effort to turn his life around, enlisted in the United States Army.


Serving for seven years in the Infantry and eventually achieving the rank of Staff Sergeant in the Military Police, Jonathan learned you don’t run away from a struggle, you run into it – and face adversity head on.

It was during this time that Jonathan came to terms with the abuse he suffered as a child and made a personal vow to do something meaningful with his life to help abused and neglected children.

Completing his service in the Army honorably, he returned to Los Angeles and enrolled in junior college at College of the Canyons. At COC, Hatami’s interest in criminal justice was ignited. After completing junior college, with the help of the GI Bill, Pell grants and student aid, he transferred to California State University Northridge where he graduated Cum Laude. 


After receiving a full scholarship, Hatami went on to law school at the University of Nebraska, graduating as the class speaker with a Juris Doctor with Honors in 2002.

As a new lawyer, Hatami passed the bar in four states – California, New York, Nebraska, and New Jersey– and pursued his career as a law clerk for the Court of Appeals and eventually in private practice. It didn’t take long for him to realize his purpose in life wouldn’t be fulfilled in civil law but in public service helping others.

Deputy District Attorney.

In 2006, Hatami was hired as a Deputy District Attorney in the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office and began working in East Los Angeles and eventually in El Monte, Van Nuys and in the Antelope Valley.

In 2016, Hatami was named prosecutor of the year by the Antelope Valley Bar Association. Later that same year, Hatami was honored to be selected to serve in the Nation’s first Complex Child Abuse unit at the Hall of Justice in Downtown Los Angeles.

In 2019, Hatami was named the prosecutor of the year, this time by the Los Angeles County Bar Association. In 2021, he was honored to be the recipient of the ChildHelp Benevolent Heart Award for his tireless commitment to voiceless victims, the CHIA Appreciation Award and the Crime Survivors Above and Beyond Award for leadership in the community.

Human Rights Advocate.

As a 18-year veteran prosecutor, Hatami has handled thousands of child physical and sexual abuse cases, domestic violence, hate crimes, and complex homicides. He has prosecuted over 80 felony jury trials including the four-month trial of the torture and murder of Gabriel Fernandez. He is featured in the six-part Netflix true crime documentary “The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez” released in 2020.

On December 15, 2020, Hatami was ordered by then newly elected District Attorney George Gascón to remove allegations and strike priors in the case of a little girl who was tortured and murdered by her parent. Finding this unconscionable, he refused and was the first Deputy District Attorney to come forward and speak out publicly against Gascón’s policy directives in an interview with ABC7.

In March 2023, after a six-week trial, Hatami successfully prosecuted the torture and murder of little Anthony Avalos.


Jonathan’s proudest achievement in life is his family. His wife of thirteen years, Roxanne, is a domestic violence detective with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. They are raising their two young children in Santa Clarita. The newest addition to the Hatami family is a rescued German Shepherd named “Justice.”

Jonathan enjoys running, hiking many of LA’s natural treasures like Vasquez Rocks and Devil’s Punchbowl, spending time with his family at Dodger games and the beach, and making his specialty – French toast – for his kids on Saturday mornings.