'SoHo Karen,' The Woman Who Falsely Accused A Black Teen Of Stealing Her Phone, Pleads Guilty To Hate Crime

April 12th, 2022 - 2:17 PM EDT by Adam Downer

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Miya Ponsetto, the woman who went viral as SoHo Karen after falsely accusing a Black teen of stealing her cellphone and tackling him to the ground in December 2020, has pleaded guilty to unlawful imprisonment in the second degree as a hate crime over a year later.

Sixteen months ago, Ponsetto tackled 14-year-old Keyon Harrold Jr. (the son of jazz musician Keyon Harrold) at the Arlo Hotel in SoHo, New York City. It's unclear what led Ponsetto to believe Harrold Jr. stole her phone, which was later recovered in an Uber. She had repeatedly denied that she racially profiled the boy until yesterday's plea. Now, the guilty plea allows her to live under probation for two years and avoid jail time, at which time she can have the charge reduced to a misdemeanor. If she violates probation, she faces a prison sentence of up to four years.

Ponsetto became one of the internet's most notorious Karens in recent years due to her defiant nature after going viral. She infamously wore a hat with the word Daddy on it in an interview with CBS, where she also swore she wasn't being racist in her outburst.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg Jr. said in a statement, "Ms. Ponsetto displayed outrageous behavior. 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."

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