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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Finger Crime: Penelope Soto's Criminal Gesture

     Your fingers can get you into a lot of trouble. Citizens who flip-off police officers are often arrested for disorderly conduct. School kids who make firearms gestures with their hands are suspended. And if you raise your middle finger while standing before an arraignment judge, they will haul you off to jail. If you don't believe this, ask Penelope Soto.

     On February 4, 2013, 18-year-old Penelope Soto, having been charged with the illegal possession of Xanax, stood before Miami-Dade County Judge Jorge Rodriguez-Chomat. Pursuant to the judge's decision regarding the amount of Soto's bail, he inquired about her assets. When the judge asked Soto specifically how much her jewelry was worth, she laughed.

     Visibly annoyed by Soto's casual attitude in his court room, the judge said, "It's not a joke, you know. We're not in a club, be serious about it."

     "I'm serious about it," Soto replied. "You just made me laugh. I apologize. It's [her jewelry] worth a lot of money."

     "Like what?" the judge asked.

     "Like Rick Ross. It's worth money."

     Judge Rodriguez-Chomat, who had no idea who Rick Ross was [a south Florida rapper], again became annoyed. He asked Soto if she had taken any drugs in the past 24 hours.

     "Actually, no," she replied.

     Judge Rodriguez-Chomat set Soto's bail at a very low $5,000. Moving onto the next case, he said, "Bye, bye."

     Instead of thanking the judge for his leniency, Soto replied, "Adios."

    Obviously irritated by Soto's flippant response and dismissive attitude, the judge summoned her back to the bench and upped her bail to $10,000. Still a relatively low amount.

     Now it was Soto's turn to be angry. "Are you serious?" she exclaimed.

     "I am serious," he replied.

     As she was being escorted out of the court room, Soto turned back to the judge, blurted "F-you," and flipped him the finger.

     Shocked and obviously angered by this prisoner's disrespect, Judge Rodriguez-Chmat cited Soto for contempt of court. He sentenced her on the spot to thirty days in jail.

     Penelope Soto is either very stupid, or was under the influence of drugs when she swore at the judge and gave him the finger. If this young woman doesn't watch her mouth and her finger inside the jail, she'll be punished even more severely.


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