Cecily McMillan, the Occupy Wall Street activist who was filmed being sexually assaulted by NYPD officers, has been sentenced to 3 months in jail. McMillan was originally facing more than 7 years behind bars after being convicted of elbowing the man who assaulted her.
The scenario was very simple. McMillan was attending an Occupy Wall Street protest in New York City. The police arrived and demanded that the protestors leave the park, which they refused to do. Video presented by McMillan’s attorneys show her being violently grabbed from behind on her right breast. The grab was so hard it actually left a hand shaped bruise deep on her breast. Upon being grabbed McMillan swung around fast and threw an elbow to avoid being further assaulted. That was a cop whose face she connected with.
The prosecution said that she knowingly and willfully assaulted the police officer at the Occupy Wall Street protest. They even went as far as to suggest that McMillan gave herself the bruises on her breast.
The jury, after finding her guilty of assault, took the extremely rare step of sending the judge a post verdict letter begging him to not sentence her to 7 years in jail. As part of the law governing jury deliberations the jury is not made aware of how long a defendant faces when deciding guilt or innocence.
The rock/social responsibility Russian sensation Pussy Riot recently got involved in the case also. On a recent visit to the States they visited with Cecily McMillan in order to show their support and publicly call for the judge not to send her to jail.
Taking the unanimous feelings of the jury and all of the post trial publicity into account Judge Ronald Zweibel sentenced McMillan to 3 months instead of the seven years she faced. The million dollar question is whether she deserved any jail time at all?