Remember 'Soho Karen'? Miya Ponsetto faces 10 years for falsely accusing Black teen

Remember 'Soho Karen'? Miya Ponsetto faces 10 years for falsely accusing Black teen
Miya Ponsetto (Ventura County Sheriff's Office)

Miya Ponsetto continues to maintain she was not in the wrong for apprehending Black teen in a hotel lobby about her stolen iPhone. She claimed that in her mind anyone and everyone leaving the lobby could have stolen her phone and she questioned everyone and didn't intend to single out 14-year-old Keyon Harrold Jr. Ponsetto has been handed multiple charges including hate crime for which she could face 10 years in jail if convicted. She appeared in court on November 8 for a status hearing where her lawyer told the judge they were trying to "resolve" the hate crime charge within the next few months. Paul D'Emilia who is serving as her criminal defense attorney said he believed Ponsetto was "grossly overcharged". 

On December 28, 2020, Ponsetto had harassed both Keyon and his Grammy-winning jazz musician father Keyon Sr. The latter posted footage from the lobby on his Instagram page causing mass outrage against Ponsetta who has since been dubbed as 'Soho Karen'. She fled Manhattan after seeing the footage and was arrested in California on January 7 after a car chase. Ponsetto had left her phone in a cab and the driver returned it back to her. "They had to pull her out of the car. They did use physical force. She tried to slam the door on the leg of one of our deputies and so she was forcibly removed from the vehicle," a spokesman for Ventura County Sheriff's Department, Eric Buschow said. It was later discovered Ponsetto has a history of going berserk in hotels and she even assaulted a cop at one of the establishments. 


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Miya Ponsetto's lawyer claims her crimes were 'greatly enhanced'

After the hearing, D'Emilia spoke to an outlet saying he believed Ponsetto was being "grossly overcharged". He said, "She was charged with crimes that were greatly enhanced, if I could say that. We don't feel those charges are appropriate, but hopefully there's something that we can reach that will be satisfactory to everybody." Los Angeles resident Ponsetto had remained unapologetic during the media interviews she gave after being held by police following the car chase. She said the only thing she regretted was making Keyon Jr "feel inferior". The charges against her include unlawful imprisonment as a hate crime, aggravated harassment, and endangering the welfare of a child. 

D'Emilia said the ongoing case has left her client feeling shaken. "Obviously she gets a lot of unwanted attention. she gets a lot of inappropriate calls and letters and things like that. She's just trying to get our life together. She's working and just trying to get by and make the best of the situation. It's a little frightening for her," he added. In an interview with CBS earlier this year Ponsetto wondered how it was a crime to accuse a person of stealing a phone. In the same interview, the then-22-year-old said she and Keyon Jr have lived the same amount of life and he wasn't the only one stressed from this situation. She also described herself as "super sweet" and "kid at heart" in the same interview. 

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