A Shorewood woman was previously charged with a hate crime after being accused (and caught on camera) spitting at a Black teenager during a George Floyd protest, according to Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. She insists she didn’t do it and wants to go to trial to plead her case.
Stephanie Rapkin, 66, was sued by 17-year-old Eric Lucas for battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress after she allegedly spit on him June 6, 2020 during a protest. The complaint says Rapkin parked her car in the middle of the street to intentionally disrupt the demonstration. Protesters demanded she move and tried to get around the car. However, once she stepped out of the vehicle, she said she was threatened and touched.
Well, she did park her car in the middle of a crowd of people. It seems like she was in more of a position to cause harm than the people telling her to leave. Per the report, the lawsuit is on hold while criminal charges are pending.
More on the incident from Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
Lucas’ attorney, William Sulton, attended Tuesday’s hearing. After Rapkin spoke to reporters, Sulton talked and showed still photos, part of the lawsuit, taken from video of the incident. The image, he said, clearly shows Rapkin spitting at his client.
Sulton called it appalling that prosecutors only charged Rapkin with disorderly conduct, instead of battery, and that they would have offered her a deferred prosecution. In such an agreement, a charge is usually dismissed if the subject complies with specific conditions or requirements over time.
Rapkin was formerly represented by Jason Luczak, who successfully moved for dismissal of a hate crime enhancement on the disorderly conduct charge. If prosecutors had proven Rapkin’s actions were racially motivated, the penalty could have been a year in jail, rather than nine months.
Rapkin is also charged with battery on a police officer, a felony, for actions she allegedly took during her arrest outside her home the day after the rally. Rapkin has pleaded not guilty to each count. That matter will be tried separately.
When she showed up for court for a no-contest plea to simple battery, she tried to fire her attorney, Michael Steinle, the report says. She told Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Jeffrey Wagner she wanted a trial and that Steinle didn’t believe a trial was in her best interest.
Honestly, he may be right. There’s both pictures and video footage of her spitting on someone. The proof is in the pudding. Plus, spitting on someone during COVID? Must be out your mind. Watch the video on Twitter:
Rapkin has a status hearing August 17 and trial is set for Oct. 3. She currently has no attorney.