Wisconsin attorney who spat at BLM protester rejects probation deal: ‘Rather go to jail’
Posted For: Willie Wonka, HMFWIC
A white Wisconsin lawyer who spat at a black teen during a Black Lives Matter protest rejected a sweetheart deal to walk free from court — saying she’d “rather go to jail right now.”
Stephanie Rapkin, 67, was told at her sentencing Tuesday that her 60-day sentence would be stayed if she agreed to a year of probation with 100 hours of community service.
“It’s not viable,” she said, interrupting Milwaukee County Judge Laura Crivello as she offered the deal as credit for her “working to rebuild your faith and your trust in the community.”
“Your Honor, I am outright refusing the probation,” said Rapkin, who’d initially been charged with a hate crime for spitting at the then-17-year-old teen protest leader.
“I’d rather go to jail right now and take care of it.”
Rapkin’s attorney, Anthony Cotton — who’d initially asked her to be sentenced to time served in the case — was left noting to the judge that his client had the right to reject her offer.
“She does,” the judge acknowledged. “Then at this point in time, the 60 days that I imposed in stay will be starting today.”
Bailiffs placed her in handcuffs and escorted her out of the room and taken to jail, with her online court record updated to show that “Defendant is REJECTING probation.”
The Shorewood attorney was convicted last month of misdemeanor disorderly conduct for the caught-on-camera confrontation with anti-racism protesters in June 2020 after blocking their rally in suburban Milwaukee with her car.
When she was confronted by protesters — many holding BLM signs — she was filmed spitting on Eric Lucas, then a 17-year-old high school junior and an organizer of the rally.
The attorney was initially charged with disorderly conduct as a hate crime, but a judge dismissed the enhancement in July 2021.
She still faces a separate charge of assaulting the arresting police officer, accused of kneeing him in the groin when he came to her home the day after the march. A jury trial has been scheduled for August.
Rapkin did not explain in court exactly why she was rejecting the offer of freedom, declining to make a statement prior to sentencing and blocking her family from addressing the court on her behalf.
In one of her unexpected pronouncements in court, Rapkin interrupted the judge’s offer of doing community service to say: “Your Honor, nobody wants me.”
Her attorney earlier wrote in court filings that the attorney’s neighbors won’t associate with her and that her reputation has been destroyed after being labeled a racist, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.
She even had death threats, the report said.
Her attorney, Cotton, didn’t immediately respond to requests seeking clarification about why Rapkin refused probation.
“That’s her decision, her right, to do as she sees fit,” he told Fox 6 immediately after the hearing.