Ohio U. student protesters plead not guilty


(JTA) — Four students arrested for disrupting an Ohio University student senate meeting rejected a plea bargain and maintained their pleas of not guilty.

The students — Jonah Yulish, Maxwell Peltz, Rebecca Sebo and Gabriel Sirkin — appeared in Athens County Municipal Court on Wednesday for a pretrial hearing, according to The Post, OU’s student newspaper.

The students were arrested Sept. 10 for staging a protest of senate president Megan Marzec’s “blood bucket challenge” video calling for the university to divest from companies doing business in Israel. Their protest ended when the Ohio University Police Department arrested them.

Each student was offered the chance to plead guilty to a minor misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct and pay a $100 fine, but all refused, according to The Post. The students have been charged with disturbing a lawful meeting, a fourth-degree misdemeanor charge. If convicted, they could face a maximum penalty of 30 days in jail and a $250 fine.

Eric Fingerhut, the president of Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life, has called on the university to apologize for the arrests. Fingerhut is a former Ohio congressman.

The trial is scheduled for Feb. 17 and is expected to last two days.


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