Miya 'SoHo Karen' Ponsetto Charged With Federal Hate Crime For Attacking Black Teen Over Phone She Misplaced
The hate crime charge is an addition to charges she faced in January for falsely accusing a 14-year-old of stealing her phone and attacking him.
July 01, 2021 at 1:39 pm
Miya Ponsetto plead not guilty to charges for her Dec. 2020 confrontation with 14-year-old Black teen Keyon Harrod Jr.
According to CBS News, Ponsetto was indicted Wednesday on charges of unlawful imprisonment in the second degree as a hate crime, aggravated harassment in the second degree and endangering the welfare of a child. The hate crime charge is a new addition to the charges she faced in January.
The 22-year-old who became known as “SoHo Karen” was seen on video harassing and attacking Harrod Jr. at the Arlo Hotel in New York City because she believed he had stolen her cellphone, as Blavity previously reported. Her phone was later recovered in an Uber.
Ponsetto’s lawyer, Paul D’Emilia said called District Attorney Cy Vance’s indictment “craven” and “opportunistic.”
“Instead of helping to foster a civil and enlightened resolution to an unfortunate incident between two young people, DA Vance chose a craven and opportunistic path in indicting, with felony hate crime charges, Ms. Miya Ponsetto,” D’Emilia said in the statement, the New York Post reported.
“The charges alleged are a brazen and clear overreach of the intent of the statute. In sum, they are absurd, and a perversion of our legal system,” he continued. Civil rights activist Rev. Al Sharpton spoke at a press conference Wednesday alongside Harrod’s family and their attorney, Benjamin Crump.
“As we challenge the DA, we salute his decision to show that when someone interferes with somebody based on their race or nationality, they will be prosecuted in the city,” he said, NY Pix11 reported. “And we are glad that precedent has been established.”
Since the incident, Ponsetto has shown little remorse for assaulting the teen, whose parents said they began seeking therapy for. In January, she appeared on an interview with CBS This Morning’s Gayle King where she sported a “Daddy” hat, referred to herself as “super sweet” and repeatedly cut the veteran anchor off.
"I wasn't racial profiling whatsoever," Ponsetto told King. "I'm Puerto Rican. I'm, like, a woman of color."
She’s scheduled to appear in court again on Oct. 20.