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Black News and Black Views with a Whole Lotta Attitude

‘SoHo Karen’ Avoids Jail by Pleading Guilty to a Hate Crime

Miya Ponsetto can have the charge reduced to a misdemeanor if she stays out of trouble for the next two years

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Image for article titled ‘SoHo Karen’ Avoids Jail by Pleading Guilty to a Hate Crime
Photo: Ventura County Sheriff’s Office (AP)

Do y’all remember Miya Ponsetto, or the woman better known as “Soho Karen?” She’s the woman who in December 2020 was caught on video falsely accusing a 14-year-old Black teenager of stealing her cell phone at an Arlo Hotel in New York City. When in reality, she left it in an Uber.

After being charged with a hate crime in July 2021, Ponsetto has now pleaded guilty to unlawful imprisonment as a hate crime to avoid jail, according to ABC News.

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Ponsetto was charged with child endangerment, attempted assault, attempted robbery and grand larceny for not only falsely accusing, but physically attacking Keyon Harrold Jr, the son of Grammy-winning trumpet player Keyon Harrold on Dec. 26, 2020.

She tackled Harrold Jr. after the child and his father refused her demand to show the teen’s cell phone to prove it was hers. She was arrested weeks later in January 2021 over the incident after she did an interview with Gayle King where she apologized for her actions.

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If you need a reminder of what occurred in the video, Harrold still has the entire recording of what occurred on his Instagram.

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In the video, she can be seen yelling young Harrold Jr. and lunging at him while the teenager is heard denying that he stole her phone multiple times. Other witnesses can be seen trying to intervene in the altercation.

Ben Crump, a national civil rights attorney who is representing the Harrold family, announced that Ponsetto’s phone was found in an uber after the incident.

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She was arrested in Piru, California, her hometown, on Jan. 7, 2021, after she tried fleeing from Ventura County Sheriff’s Department deputies while they tried to make a traffic stop on a warrant for her arrest, according to ABC News.

More from ABC News:

Ponsetto was previously arrested in California three times in 2020. In February 2020, she was arrested for public intoxication after getting into a fight outside a hotel, charging documents show.

In May 2021, she was charged with driving under the influence after someone called police when they saw her get into a car leaving a grocery store while apparently intoxicated. Police found open containers of alcohol and marijuana in her car when they pulled her over, according to charging documents.

Ponsetto was arrested a third time in October 2020 after she allegedly got into a physical altercation with her mother after leaving her car abandoned at a nearby intersection and then tackled a responding officer to the ground. She was charged with DUI, driving with a suspended license and resisting arrest, and her blood alcohol limit was 0.14, almost twice the legal limit, police said.

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Now, she faces up to four years in prison but can plead down to a misdemeanor of aggravated harassment if she stays out of trouble for the next two years, according to ABC News.

In a statement, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said, “Ms. Ponsetto displayed outrageous behavior. As a Black man, I have personally experienced racial profiling countless times in my life and I sympathize with the young man victimized in this incident. This plea ensures appropriate accountability for Ms. Ponsetto by addressing underlying causes for her behavior and ensuring this conduct does not reoccur.”

SoHo Karen Avoids Jail Time… Of Course