Student Protesters Recharged with Misdemeanor

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Four Ohio University students who were arrested for disrupting an OU Student Senate meeting will be re-charged with a fourth degree misdemeanor after they refused to plead guilty to lesser charges.

Becky Sebo, Jonah Yulish, Maxwell Peltz and Gabriel Sirkin were originally charged with disrupting a lawful meeting, a fourth-degree misdemeanor, when arrested on Sept. 10.

The students were arrested after they allegedly disrupted a Student Senate meeting, calling for the resignation of Student Senate President Megan Marzec. The four students are members of Bobcats for Israel. Their protest was in response to a video Marzec made and posted online in which she dumped a bucket of fake blood over her head and called for Ohio University to divest from Israel.

According to City Prosecutor Tracy Meek, the four students were offered a lesser charge if they agreed to plead guilty. However, she says that the students refused the lesser charge of disorderly conduct, a minor misdemeanor.

“In previous cases where students were charged with disturbing a lawful meeting, our office has agreed to amend the charge to a minor misdemeanor disorderly conduct with the defendant pleading guilty to that charge and paying a small fine. That was the offer extended to these students,” Meek wrote in an email to The Messenger.

The maximum penalty for a fourth-degree misdemeanor is 30 days in jail and a fine of $250. A minor misdemeanor carries a maximum penalty of a $150 fine.

“They declined the offer, so the case will now proceed with a trial on the original charge,” Meek said.