Sunday, May 29 , 2016, 5:48 pm | Overcast 63º




UCSB Professor Pleads Not Guilty to Misdemeanor Charges Related to Abortion Protest

By Gina Potthoff, Noozhawk Staff Writer | @ginapotthoff |

Mireille Miller-Young

An associate professor of feminist studies at UC Santa Barbara pleaded not guilty Friday to misdemeanor battery and other charges related to a confrontation she had with an anti-abortion group on campus last month.

Associate professor Mireille Miller-Young did not appear in Santa Barbara Superior Court for Friday morning's arraignment, but her defense attorney, Catherine Swysen, entered the plea in her stead.

Miller-Young faces charges of 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 will next appear in court May 1 for a readiness-and-settlement hearing.

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

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

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.

According to the police report, the professor found the literature and pictures “disturbing” and “offensive” because she teaches reproduction rights and because she is pregnant.

At that point, 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.

“Asked if there had been a struggle, Miller-Young stated, ‘I’m stronger so I was able to take the poster,’” the report said.

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

The university has offered no comment on ongoing legal proceedings involving Miller-Young, a faculty member at UCSB since 2005 who did some postdoctoral work there before that.

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.




Reader Comments

Noozhawk's intent is not to limit the discussion of our stories but to elevate it. Comments should be relevant and must be free of profanity and abusive language and attacks.

By posting on Noozhawk, you:

» Agree to be respectful. Noozhawk encourages intelligent and impassioned discussion and debate, but now has a zero-tolerance policy for those who cannot express their opinions in a civil manner.

» Agree not to use Noozhawk’s forums for personal attacks. This includes any sort of personal attack — including, but not limited to, the people in our stories, the journalists who create these stories, fellow readers who comment on our stories, or anyone else in our community.

» Agree not to post on Noozhawk any comments that can be construed as libelous, defamatory, obscene, profane, vulgar, harmful, threatening, tortious, harassing, abusive, hateful, sexist, racially or ethnically objectionable, or that are invasive of another’s privacy.

» Agree not to post in a manner than emulates, purports or pretends to be someone else. Under no circumstances are readers posting to Noozhawk to knowingly use the name or identity of another person, whether that is another reader on this site, a public figure, celebrity, elected official or fictitious character. This also means readers will not knowingly give out any personal information of other members of these forums.

» Agree not to solicit others. You agree you will not use Noozhawk’s forums to solicit and/or advertise for personal blogs and websites, without Noozhawk’s express written approval.

Noozhawk’s management and editors, in our sole discretion, retain the right to remove individual posts or to revoke the access privileges of anyone who we believe has violated any of these terms or any other term of this agreement; however, we are under no obligation to do so.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

 

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.