Penelope Soto, the teen who gave a Miami-Dade judge the middle finger and was sentenced to 30 days in jail, tearfully apologized in court Friday.
Soto, 18, appeared before Circuit Judge Jorge Rodriguez-Chomat Monday after she was arrested on charges of possession of Xanax. The teenager laughed throughout the proceeding and gave a sarcastic “Adios” after Rodriguez-Chomat set her bail at $5,000. As she began to walk away, the judge called her back and raised the bail to $10,000. Soto angrily gave Rodriguez-Chomat the finger and told him, “Go f*** yourself.” The judge called her back a second time and found the teenager in contempt, sentencing her to 30 days in county jail. Soto shrugged the sentence off and said, “OK, that’s fine,” before walking away a third time.
Friday, Soto was back in court with a markedly different attitude. Subdued and apologetic, Soto told Rodriguez-Chomat, “My behavior was very irrational and I apologize not only to the court and you but to my family.” The teen began to cry before the judge told her, “Don’t cry, I’m not a monster,” and urged her to continue.
“And I normally don’t act like that,” Soto finished. Rodriguez-Chomat asked if she had taken any Xanax before her first hearing and she said that she took two. The judge said he hoped she learned a couple of lessons and vacated her sentence, saying that she now had the opportunity to go to a drug treatment facility.
“Obviously, you have a drug addiction,” the judge said. He also said he should not hold her completely responsible and said that profanity in society makes teenagers think it’s OK to use that kind of language.
What do you think of Penelope Soto’s apology? Do you think she has learned her lesson?