What began as a young South Florida woman’s defiant profanity and waving of the middle finger to a judge earlier this week turned into an etiquette lesson Friday — when the tearful woman publicly apologized for her behavior.
Penelope Soto’s flipping the bird at Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Jorge Rodriguez-Chomat on Monday had landed her a 30-day jail sentence for contempt of court, and it drew national headlines as a video of it went viral online.
But Friday, 18-year-old Soto was solemn as she acknowledged to Rodriguez-Chomat that she was wrong for insulting him. Her lawyer and relatives stood next to her as she apologized.
"My behavior was very irrational, and I apologize not only to the court and you, but to my family,” Penelope Soto told Rodriguez-Chomat.
Responding to her apology, Rodriguez-Chomat dropped the 30-day contempt sentence he had imposed on her when she first appeared before him on a Xanax possession charge.
Among the reasons he cited for dropping her contempt sentence were her being a first-time offender, her admission that she had abused Xanax, her willingness to overcome her addiction by attending a drug-treatment program and her apology.
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