The white woman accused of spitting on a Black woman and activist during dueling protests at the state Capitol earlier this year was granted special probation Wednesday morning despite the state’s attorney’s plan to pursue a hate crime charge against her.
In January, as groups of people gathered to protest different causes, Keren Prescott and her friend showed up as representatives of the BLM movement. As they shouted “Black lives matter,” Yuliya Gishteyn allegedly responded, “All lives matter,” prompting an argument between the parties. Amid the exchange, Prescott told Gishteyn to keep her distance because she was without a mask, and the white woman spit at her face.
Gishteyn initially faced a breach of peace charge, but upon further review of video from the incident, the charges were upgraded to include deprivation of rights, third-degree criminal attempt to commit assault, first-degree reckless endangerment and risk of injury to a child.
On Wednesday (July 21), during a court hearing, Hartford Superior Court Judge Sheila Prats announced that the white woman’s punishment will come in the form of a probation program specifically designed for first-time offenders.
Per the terms, Gishteyn must complete 100 hours of anti-hate courses within a two-year period. Upon completion of the curriculum, all charges will be dropped against her, leaving her with no criminal record.
Gishteyn acknowledged that she was “completely out of character” and apologized for her actions. Prescott, who was upset with the judge’s ruling, attributed Prats’ decision to “white privilege.”
“When she attacked me, and the police didn’t believe me, that was white privilege,” she told the Hartford Courant. “When the police held me back, and she was led away, that was white privilege…The fact she was in here today and didn’t even get a slap on the wrist, that is white privilege.”
Prats argued against Prescott’s claims, explaining that her decision to grant Gishteyn with probation was solely because her actions weren’t deemed serious enough to prohibit her entry into the program.
Sounds about white.
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