*Miya Ponsetto was famously dubbed “SoHo Karen” in 2020 after she physically assaulted a Black teenager she wrongly accused of stealing her cell phone at a hotel in New York City.
On Monday, Ponsetto, 23, pleaded guilty to a felony — unlawful imprisonment in the second degree as a hate crime — for accusing 14-year-old Keyon Harrold Jr. of stealing her phone and then attacking him.
Per The Washington Post, via MSN, under New York state law, second-degree unlawful imprisonment is to “interfere substantially with [a victim’s] liberty by moving him or her from one place to another, or by confining him or her.”
Several other charges were reportedly dropped in Ponsetto’s plea agreement, but if she gets into legal trouble within the next two years, she faces up to four years in a state prison in New York.
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“We are appreciative of the district attorney’s thoughtful and empathetic approach to finding an acceptable conclusion, especially in light of the unreasonable pressure brought to bear by many voices not familiar with the more granular details of what occurred that evening,” Paul D’Emilia, Ponsetto’s attorney, said in a statement.
Keyon Jr. is the son of popular jazz musician Keyon Harrold Sr. During an interview with the New York Times, he expressed disappointment over the way hotel staffers handled the situation. They immediately assumed his son was guilty.
“I wonder what would happen if it were different, if it were a Black woman and there was a white 14-year-old,” he added.
As reported by Newsone, famed civil rights attorney Ben Crump slammed Bragg’s plea deal.
“When Miya Ponsetto couldn’t find her cell phone, she defaulted to blaming and assaulting an innocent Black teenager and was aided by the Arlo Hotel staff, who backed her up instead of defending their Black guest,” Crump said in a statement. “It’s highly disappointing that she was permitted to plea down, only receiving probation. We won’t change the culture until we hold people accountable for their outrageously bad behavior.”