Miya Ponsetto, the woman who attacked a 14-year-old Black teen who she falsely accused of stealing her iPhone, has reached a plea deal in the incident and will not serve jail time.
Dubbed “SoHo Karen,” Ponsetto will be required to “live a law-abiding life” for 2 years, continuing therapy and following her probation terms, per TMZ. After 2 years, she can withdraw the hate crime plea and instead plead guilty to aggravated harassment in the second degree, which is not a felony.
“We are pleased that today’s proceeding brought this unfortunate misunderstanding closer to a final resolution,” her lawyer Paul D’Emilia said. “We are appreciative of the District Attorney’s thoughtful and empathetic approach to finding an acceptable conclusion.”
Back in December of 2020, Keyon Harrold Jr.’s father—the jazz musician of the same name—wrote that Ponsetto scratched him before tackling and grabbing the teen. She later claimed during an interview that she wasn’t racist because she was Puerto Rican.
“He is a child!” Harrold captioned an Instagram photo. “Now watch it again. This lady is not even a guest at the hotel. She checked out of the hotel on the 23rd of December; today is the 26th. Now watch as the manager advocates for the lady who is not even a hotel guest, insisting and attempting to use his managerial authority to force my son to show his phone to this random lady. He actually empowered her!!! He didn’t even consider the fact we were actually the guests! Now think about the trauma that my son now has to carry, only coming downstairs to have box day brunch with his dad.”
Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg added that Ponsetto’s “outrageous behavior” led him to “sympathize with the young man victimized in this incident,” as he is a Black man. The incident took place inside the Arlo Hotel in SoHo in 2020.
“This plea ensures appropriate accountability for Ms. Ponsetto by addressing underlying causes for her behavior and ensuring this conduct does not reoccur,” he said.
Ponsetto was previously charged twice with DUI in 2020 and was put on probation as a result.