A Connecticut court on Wednesday gave the green light for a 45-year-old White woman to enter a special probation program after she was caught on video spitting on a Black activist during a confrontation at a protest.
Besides a hate crime charge in connection with the incident, Yuliya Gilshteyn was also slapped with a slew of other charges including third-degree attempt to commit assault, first-degree reckless endangerment and risk of injury to a child, according to The Associated Press.
But Gilshteyn could have her criminal records wiped if she successfully completes the program – which is for first-time offenders. Besides probation, Gilshteyn is also required to complete a 100-hour anti-hate class within two years. The accused initially faced a breach of peace charge but prosecutors reportedly moved to upgrade the charges after they scrutinized video footage of the incident.
The spitting incident occurred when Black Lives Matter activist Keren Prescott got into an argument with Gilshteyn during a protest outside the Connecticut State Capitol on January 6. That was the same day the pro-Trump supporters forced their way into the U.S. Capitol in their attempt to have the presidential election results overturned.
Video footage of the incident at the Connecticut State Capitol during the protests showed Gilshteyn, who is against the compulsory vaccination of children, spitting at Prescott. The Black activist said she was chanting “Black Lives Matter” as well as other slogans with a friend when Gilshteyn responded, telling her “all lives matter”, The Associated Press reported. This sparked an argument. And during the back and forth, Prescott said she told Gilshteyn to back away as the accused was not in a face mask despite the prevalence of COVID-19. Prescott said Gilshteyn proceeded to spit in her face and also hit her glasses and mask.
During the hearing, Gilshteyn offered an apology to Prescott, telling her what she did was “completely out of character.” Prescott, however, labeled Gilshteyn’s punishment as “the epitome of white privilege,” The Hartford Courant reported.
“When she attacked me and the police didn’t believe me, that was white privilege,” Prescott told the news outlet. “When the police held me back and she was led away, that was white privilege. … The fact she was in here today and didn’t even get a slap on the wrist, that is white privilege.”