SoHo Karen: Woman Who Falsely Accused Black Teen of Stealing Her iPhone Takes Plea Deal

SoHo Karen: Woman Who Falsely Accused Black Teen of Stealing Her iPhone Takes Plea Deal
SoHo Karen: Woman Who Falsely Accused Black Teen of Stealing Her iPhone Takes Plea Deal (Image: Screenshot/YouTube/NBC New York)

Black Teen Falsely Accused of Stealing iPhone, Caught on Camera (January 2021)

On Monday, a woman who was caught on camera in a New York City hotel lobby attacking a Black teenager after accusing him of stealing her mobile phone agreed to a plea deal. According to the Manhattan District Attorney, Miya Ponsetto, 23, of California, agreed to plead guilty to unlawful imprisonment in the second degree as a hate crime.

After footage of the incident went viral on social media in December 2020, Ponsetto, also known as “SoHo Karen,” was thrust into the national spotlight.

In the lobby of the Arlo Hotel in SoHo, she attacked 14-year-old Keyon Harrold, Jr. and his father, accusing the teen of stealing her iPhone. Her attorney later confirmed that she did indeed leave the phone in an Uber.

“Ms. Ponsetto displayed outrageous behavior,” District Attorney Alvin L. Bragg, Jr. said in a statement Monday. “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.” 

Ponsetto’s lawyer, Paul D’Emilia, expressed delight that her plea deal will end the “unfortunate misunderstanding.”

‘Soho Karen’ Miya Ponsetto Arrested in California (January 2021)

“Ms. Ponsetto looks forward to her eventual final plea to the Harassment charge – a plea that we feel more realistically reflects her actions that night at the Arlo Hotel,” D’Emilia said. “It is Ms. Ponsetto’s wish that Keyon Harrold accepts her regrets and apology for her behavior that evening, and that all involved can move forward with added insight and compassion.”

Ponsetto will be required to continue counseling, avoid contact with the criminal justice system, and adhere to the terms of her probation from a separate California case as part of the terms of her plea deal.

She will be allowed to re-plead to aggravated harassment in the second degree, a class A misdemeanor, if she maintains those conditions for two years. Ponsetto faces a sentence of 1 1/3 to 4 years in state prison if she does not comply with the terms.



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