Teen who flipped off judge back in court
MIAMI (WSVN) -- The teen who flipped the bird at a judge returned to court Monday morning.
Eighteen-year-old Penelope Soto received compliments and even a round of applause in a Miami Courtroom.
Judge: "Ms. Soto lots of things have changed for you. You're smiling, which we didn't see before, and I wish you well in the program. Congratulations."
A kinder, gentler, more polite young woman faced a different judge Monday morning. He seemed impressed after learning Soto had passed all of her drug tests and is regularly attending narcotics anonymous meetings.
Judge: "Good morning. How are you doing, Miss Soto?"
Soto: "I'm good, thank you"
You may remember her from the infamous exchange she had with Miami-Dade County Circuit Judge Jorge Rodriguez-Chomat after she was charged with possession of Xanax bars.
When Soto learned her bond amount, she flipped off Chomat and cursed him out too.
Judge: "You said [expletive] me?"
Soto: "Yes, sir, I did."
The judge then laid down the law for being in contempt of court.
Judge: "You did say that? I find you in direct criminal contempt. Thirty days in the county jail."
Soto: "OK, that's fine."
The spectacle made national headlines, from Fox News to CNN.
Soto would not end up spending 30 days in jail, however. She stayed for five after she tearfully apologized to the judge the following day. "My behavior was very irrational,
and I apologize not only to the court and you but to my family," said Soto.
Rodriguez-Chomat ordered her to a drug treatment program and released her. Judging from her latest court appearance, it appears to be working. "Eight out of eight. Perfect, that's very, very good. Congratulations," said the judge.
If Soto can keep up the good work, the drug charge against her will be dropped.
Soto works part-time and told the judge she plans to return to school. Upon hearing that, coupled with the other good news, the judge felt compelled to applaud her again. "I wish you well in the program and congratulations," said the judge.
Soto is due back in court for another progress report next month.
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)