Arrested OU Students Plead Not Guilty To Disturbance Charges

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The four Ohio University students arrested during a Student Senate meeting entered pleas of not guilty Thursday in Athens County Municipal Court.

Rebecca Sebo, 22, of Pepper Pike, Ohio; Maxwell Peltz, 20, of Orange Village, Ohio; Gabriel Sirkin, 20, of White Plains, N.Y.; and Jonah Yulish, 19, of Beachwood, Ohio; all entered their pleas in front of Judge William Grim.

The group was arrested Wednesday night at the regular meeting of the student senate for allegedly disrupting the meeting, according to a report by the Ohio University Police Department.

The students were reportedly in the meeting to address comments and actions by Student Senate President Megan Marzec, who posted a video claiming to be in support of Palestinians. In the video she had red liquid — meant to portray blood — dumped over her head and called for the university to "divest" from connections to Israel.

One of the four arrested, Sebo, is the president of Bobcats for Israel and called a "pro-Israel club" on the club's Facebook page. Sirkin is also listed as one of the administrators of the page.

Officers from OUPD responded to the meeting at about 7:15 p.m. in Walter Hall on a report of people disrupting the meeting. They instructed those allegedly disrupting the meeting to clear the floor of the Senate chamber.

"Most people complied, but several did not," an OUPD release stated. "Those who did not were taking turns vocally disrupting the meeting and walking around on the floor of the chamber, thus preventing the meeting from proceeding."

Marzec and officers gave the individuals "several" warnings, according to the police report, before they were arrested.

The charge of disrupting a lawful meeting, a misdemeanor of the fourth degree, carries a maximum penalty of 30 days in jail and a $250 fine.

All four were scheduled for a preliminary hearing on Sept. 24. An original hearing was scheduled for the day after, but Sebo asked that the hearing be moved because it fell on Rosh Hashanah.

The group declined to comment to questions from media after the hearing.

Photos by Brooke Herbert-Hayes