A Miami teenager who made national headlines for flipping off a judge was released from jail Friday after she tearfully apologized for her actions.
Penelope Soto, 18, apologized before Circuit Judge Jorge Rodriguez-Chomat, saying she was under the influence of Xanax and alcohol when she made the obscene gesture. Video of the confrontation went viral online.
‘I apologize not only to the court and you, but to my family,’ Soto told the judge with tears in her eyes, WSVN.com reported.
Rodriguez-Chomat dropped her 30-day jail sentence following her apology.
As a result, she was hauled back in front of the judge and given a jail sentence for contempt of court.
The exchange, seen in a video posted on LiveLeak, began when Soto was asked about her financial assets.
Standing up in court wearing an orange jumpsuit told him she earned $200 a week and said her assets included her jewellery and a car.
When he asked her how much her jewellery was worth, she laughed, and said ‘a lot.’
Realizing her laughter did not reflect the gravity of the situation Judge Rodriguez-Chomat told her: ‘It’s not a joke, you know, we’re not in a club now,’
‘We are not in a club, be serious about it.’
Still looking amused and stroking her hair Soto answered ‘I’m serious about it, you just made me laugh.’
‘You just made me laugh, I apologize. It’s worth a lot of money,’ she continued.
Judge Rodriguez-Chomat asked Soto if she had taken any drugs in the past 24 hours, which she denied.
Throughout the exchange Soto’s facial expressions varied from boredom to amusement and she was constantly moving and flicking her hair.
Judge Rodriguez-Chomat then set Soto’s bond at $5,000 and said ‘bye, bye.’
In response, Soto laughed and replied ‘Adios’ as she walked away.
Throughout the exchange Soto’s facial expressions varied from boredom to amusement and she was constantly moving and flicking her hair
After a second’s hesitation, Judge Rodriguez-Chomat called Soto back and asked for the papers to be handed back to him.
After scribbling on them, he then reset her bond at $10,000, to which a shocked Soto replied: ‘Are you serious?’
As she turned to walk away again Soto flipped Judge Rodriguez-Chomat and said: **** ***.’
Again looking amused Judge Rodriguez-Chomat called Soto back again and gave her a 30-day jail sentence for contempt of court.
Soto had appeared in court on Monday for possession of Xanax bars – the anti-anxiety drug is available on prescription, but is commonly used as an easy high.