Tuesday, May 3 , 2016, 9:00 am | Fair 59º

UCSB Professor Pleads No Contest to Misdemeanor Charges

By Gina Potthoff, Noozhawk Staff Writer | @ginapotthoff |

An associate professor of feminist studies at UC Santa Barbara on Thursday pleaded no contest to three misdemeanor charges — including battery — related to a confrontation she had with an anti-abortion group on campus in March.

Anger management classes could likely be part of the punishment for Mireille Miller-Young, who switched her plea in Santa Barbara County Superior Court this week and will be formally sentenced Aug. 14, according to the Santa Barbara County District Attorney's Office.

Miller-Young faced charges of grand theft from a person, battery and vandalism based on the March 4 incident, during which prosecutors allege the professor took a protestor’s sign, committed battery on another protester, and then destroyed the sign.

She originally pleaded not guilty in April.

Deputy District Attorney Ron Zonen, who prosecuted the case, said Miller-Young was not offered a plea deal in the case and would receive whatever sentence the judge hands down.

Zonen said it would likely include an anger management component, a restitution fine and community service — not jail time — since Miller-Young has an otherwise clean record.

"It's whatever the judge feels is the appropriate sentence," he said.

Details about the incident were made public by the Christian anti-abortion group involved in the confrontation, which posted a copy of a UCSB Police report on its website.

The altercation occurred as Miller-Young walked through the Arbor near Davidson Library to her office in South Hall, according to the report posted by Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust.

Miller-Young told police she was “triggered” by the graphic images of fetuses on posters displayed by the group, whose members approached her with literature about abortion.

The professor told police she found the literature and pictures “disturbing” and “offensive” because she teaches reproduction rights and because she was pregnant at the time.

The report says Miller-Young demanded the images be taken down as a crowd of students gathered, and she then grabbed a sign from a girl’s hands.

One of the girls from the anti-abortion group chronicled the experience in a blog post, which included pictures of scratches allegedly left on her arm by Miller-Young.

Miller-Young has been a faculty member at UCSB since 2005 and did some postdoctoral work there before that.

She will be sentenced at 10:30 a.m. on Aug. 14 in Department 2 of Santa Barbara County Superior Court.

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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