Criminal Justice

Lawyer says community service isn't 'viable,' chooses jail for spitting misdemeanor

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A Wisconsin lawyer chose jail over community service Tuesday for spitting on a Black teenager during a 2020 protest.

Shorewood, Wisconsin, lawyer Stephanie Rapkin, 67, rejected a sentence of a year of probation and 100 hours of community service, report the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Fox 6 and WISN. As a result, she was instead sentenced to 60 days in jail.

Rapkin was convicted of misdemeanor disorderly conduct in April, despite her testimony that she spit toward but not on then-17-year-old protester Eric Lucas III. The incident happened in 2020 and was caught on video.

Milwaukee County Judge Laura Crivello told Rapkin on Tuesday that probation officers could help find the appropriate community service, but Rapkin said it wouldn’t be “viable.” WISN reported on Rapkin’s response.

“Your honor, nobody wants me,” Rapkin said. “I can’t leave my house because of the death threats. Nobody wants me to volunteer. I’ve tried for the past year just for my own mental health.”

She said she “would rather go to jail right now and to take care of it.”

Rapkin left the courtroom in handcuffs.

Rapkin’s lawyer, Anthony Cotton, said after the hearing Rapkin has been labeled a racist and shunned by neighbors since the incident.

Rapkin still faces a battery charge for allegedly kneeing a police officer in the groin during an altercation outside her home.

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