A feminist studies professor who attacked a prolife teenager and stole and destroyed her anti-abortion poster has avoided jail time, with a judge instead sentencing Mireille Miller-Young to community service, anger-management classes, and $493 in restitution to the teen she assaulted.
Friday’s ruling came after more than 30 professors from universities across the nation wrote letters to Judge Brian Hill pleading for leniency, saying UC Santa Barbara Professor Miller-Young – whose area of focus is black studies, pornography and sex-work – is a gentle, brilliant mentor who is a victim of the “cultural legacy of slavery” and of “violent images … meant to traumatize.”
Miller-Young was sentenced to 108 hours of community service, 10 hours of anger management, and three years’ probation, in addition to the fine.
The letters from supporters painted Miller-Young as “a cross between Mother Teresa, Madame Curie, and Gandhi,” the mother of the teen assaulted by the professor, Catherine Short, said in an emailed statement to The College Fix.
Miller-Young’s community service will be met by first being trained as a conflict resolution facilitator, and then training others in conflict resolution, the court ordered.
“This is like sentencing the fox to 54 hours of community service by way of training it to guard the hen house, and then another 54 hours of guarding the hen house,” Short told The Fix. “A sentence of community service is not supposed to result in something you can add to your resume.”
Short is the legal director for the Life Legal Defense Foundation.
On March 4, Miller-Young came across a group of prolife students with graphic anti-abortion signs and essentially became frenzied by the exhibit, leading a small mob of students to chant “tear down the sign” before she and two other students stormed off with one of the displays.
The scholar then engaged in an altercation with a teenage prolife protestor, Short’s daughter Thrin, who had followed the educator to retrieve it. Much of the scuffle was caught on camera, and it left visible scratches on the young girl’s arms.
Last month, Miller-Young pleaded no contest to grand theft from a person, battery and vandalism, all three criminal misdemeanor charges.
In defending her actions, Miller-Young’s peers said in letters to the judge that the scholar is a wonderful person who fell victim to the graphic nature of the anti-abortion display, especially since she is pregnant.
“She was at the stage of a pregnancy when one is not fully one’s self fully, so the image of a severed fetus appeared threatening,” Eileen Boris, a UCSB history and black studies professor, wrote to the judge, according to papers filed with the court. “If she appears smiling on camera … she is ‘wearing the mask,’ that is, she is hiding her actual state through a strategy of self-presentation that is a cultural legacy of slavery.”
In another letter to the judge, Jennifer Morgan, an NYU professor of social and cultural analysis, notes the “shocking and violent images” at the campus protest were an assault on Miller-Young.
“Their tactics, meant to traumatize, did exactly that,” Morgan argued.
While having three misdemeanor convictions on one’s record is no light matter, the sentencing was disappointing, Short said in her email to The Fix.
“Miller-Young was convicted of grand theft, vandalism, and battery on a 16-year-old girl, arising from an incident in which even her supporters said she lost control of herself, yet before her probation is even one-fourth the way done, she’ll be able to boast that she is a certified conflict resolution facilitator,” Short stated. “Rather than 100 hours of sorting clothes at the Salvation Army alongside people who don’t know what she does, this ‘conflict resolution facilitator’ thing will puff up her ego even more.”
“This is the woman who mocked the pro-lifers for their supposed lack of education and told them they should listen to her because she had three degrees.”
Jennifer Kabbany is editor of The College Fix ( follow Jenn on Twitter – @JenniferKabbany )
IMAGES: Main, YouTube photo/ Inside top, UCSB screenshot / Inside bottom, courtesy photo