Milwaukee Woman Charged with Hate Crime After Allegedly Spitting at Black Teen During George Floyd Protest in 2020

A Shorewood woman once charged with a hate crime after being accused of spitting at a Black teen during a George Floyd protest, told reporters Tuesday she didn’t do it and wants to go to trial.

Stephanie Rapkin, 66, came to court for what was expected to be a no-contest plea to simple battery as part of a deferred prosecution agreement.

But her attorney, Michael Steinle told Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Jeffrey Wagner his client wanted him to withdraw from representing her.

“I’ve wanted a trial from the beginning,” Rapkin told the judge, “and Mr. Steinle doesn’t believe it’s in my best interest.”

The judge told her Steinle is very experienced.

“I’m a very experienced lawyer, too, your honor,” replied Rapkin, who has practiced probate and estate law from her office in Mequon.

Wagner set a status hearing for Aug. 17. The trial is scheduled for Oct. 3. Rapkin said she doesn’t have a new attorney lined up yet.

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SOURCE: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Bruce Vielmetti