UKY Student Sophia Rosing Assaults Black Student Employee in a Race-Based Incident

(Image via nypost.com)

Staff Writer: Maya Arruda

Email: marruda7@umassd.edu 

People do crazy things in college. It’s pretty much a fact of life like birds fly or the sky is blue. Doing crazy or outlandish things in college is part of the college experience.

For some, it’s their first time without their parents’ family rules. For others, doing crazy things is a way to deal with the mind-numbing constant waves of stress and existential dread certain classes cause. 

Usually, “crazy stuff” means joining a fraternity or sorority and having raging all-night parties every other week. Sometimes it involves stealing signs off the walls that label bathrooms and which floor you’re on in the stairwell (for those of you living in the freshman dorms, this is why there are so many plaster splotches on the walls where signs should be). Sometimes crazy stuff means going out clubbing all night and coming back plastered. 

Typical college craziness is just that: harmless, if not completely stupid and self-defeating, fun.  

Getting drunk and assaulting someone while yelling racial slurs is not.  

On November 6th, Sophia Rosing, a white 22-year-old who attended the University of Kentucky, came back from some late-night entertainment (i.e., clubbing) absolutely hammered. She then proceeded to physically assault a black student while calling them racial slurs.

(Image via radaronline.com)

The incident was captured in a viral video that circulated through social media.  

@nbcnews

Police arrested a #UniversityofKentucky student who was caught on camera using a racial slur and physically attacking two Black students in a campus dorm. #Kentucky

♬ original sound – nbcnews

The victim of the assault, Kylah Spring, said that Rosing hit her repeatedly and kicked her in the stomach after Spring asked Rosing if she was alright. Spring was a student employee working for the university as a desk clerk, on duty at the time of the assault.  

The police arrived on the campus and arrested Rosing.

The official charges were fourth-degree assault without visible injury, public intoxication, second-degree disorderly conduct, and third-degree assault on a police officer. Officially, she was booked as a Jane Doe because she refused to identify herself and had no identification on her person at the time of the arrest.  

It should be noted that Rosing bit the arresting officer’s hand during the arrest. She also told the officers that she would get special treatment due to her parents’ money.  

The University of Kentucky first suspended her from school, before banning her forever from both the physical campus and from re-enrollment. But, she was not expelled from the university as punishment.

She also lost her partnership with Dillard department store and her membership in College Fashionista, both of which have negatively impacted her career.  

The day after the arrest, Rosing was released from the holding cell after her parents paid bail after an indictment.

Rosing pleaded not guilty to all charges. According to a statement from Rosing’s lawyer on November 8th, a day after the inditement, she intends on withdrawing from her current courses at the college and is “very embarrassed, very remorseful, very humiliated.” 

After being released, Rosing posted on her Instagram feed that she wasn’t a racist, just drunk, and begged for people’s understanding.

She also blamed the people for recording her while she was drunk for her essentially facing consequences for her actions.  

“I was under the influence I’m sorry please don’t judge me I lost everything” were the exact words Rosing wrote on Instagram as her “apology.”  

Rosing waived her right to have a preliminary hearing, where the court would review if there was sufficient evidence behind the charges. With the evidence in question involving online, viral footage of Rosing physically and verbally assaulting another student, a preliminary hearing would just waste the time of everyone involved.   

She had a formal trial on November 15th with a grand jury. The outcome of this trial has not been publicly posted.

One of the charges, assault of a police officer, is a Class D felony, so if she is convicted, she will spend 1 to 5 years in prison. A felony charge will also appear on her permanent record, which will assuredly impact her future employment prospects.  

In an ideal world, Rosing would be found guilty on all counts and spend time in jail. Her actions themselves were deplorable beyond measure, to be sure; however, her behavior after the fact has been equally as reprehensible.  

Pleading not guilty of all charges and whining on Instagram in hopes of a sympathetic audience does not show any remorse or repentance whatsoever.

The public “apology” she issued on her social media was pitiful and self-centered, focusing on “poor me” rather than “poor girl I assaulted.”

While the terms of her release from police custody before the trial did include the stipulation that she would never contact Spring again, a genuine acknowledgment of wrongdoing and an apology directed towards Spring on social media without direct contact would be appropriate.  

In short, her “apology” feels more like she regrets the consequences of her actions rather than the actions themselves. If no one filmed the attack and she received no punishment, I doubt she would be sorry at all.  

Ellen’s public apology was better. Logan Paul’s public apology was better.  

Moreover, being intoxicated merely lowers inhibitions. It does not magically give someone racist thoughts. It does not miraculously give someone violent anger-driven outbursts. It only makes someone more willing to act upon thoughts and feelings they already have. It is not a valid excuse for shouting racial slurs or assaulting another human being.  

Alcohol does not excuse vile actions. Rosing, who has shown no remorse – not even a single care for the person she hurt – should be punished to the fullest extent of the law. Not only as a lesson for Rosing but as a message that this sort of behavior will not be tolerated.

An example must be made that assaulting another human being while drunk is inexcusable, and that money and privilege do not put you above the law.  

Considering the contemporary sociopolitical climate, with countless corruption scandals and violent injustices George Floyd still prevalent, faith in the justice system is at its lowest. Most cynics, myself included, feel that the rich and privileged will never face punishment for their crimes – that they can pay for a great lawyer or bribe an official and just walk away with a slap on the wrist.  

Ergo, it is vitally important for the legal system to punish Rosing, who is absolutely guilty of every single charge brought against her, whose crimes were filmed at the moment of the crime, and who showed absolutely no regret or care beyond her own self-interests.

The courts need to prove that justice is more than just an empty ideal. 

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