Charges against the four students who were arrested at an Ohio University Student Senate meeting in September will be dropped, despite officials with the Athens City Prosecutor’s Office saying weeks ago that fourth-degree misdemeanor charges would be reinstated.
Not all of the defendants — Rebecca Sebo, Jonah Yulish, Maxwell Peltz and Gabriel Sirkin — had received official notice of their charges of disturbing a lawful meeting being dropped as of press time. However, Larry Zuckerman, Peltz’s lawyer, said it was definite.
The fourth-degree misdemeanor holds a maximum sentence of 30 days in jail and a $250 fine.
“Nothing is official yet,” said Sebo, a member of Bobcats for Israel who was removed from the Sept. 10 meeting after calling for Student Senate President Megan Marzec’s resignation. “If it is true, obviously we’re very excited.”
The students were arrested from a Student Senate meeting during a protest against Marzec’s “blood-bucket” challenge. All were originally charged with fourth-degree misdemeanor charges, though charges were reduced to minor misdemeanors during the group’s first hearing in November. Later, the prosecutor’s office refiled the original charges.
Though Sebo had not received confirmation of dropped charges, Peltz was notified Thursday morning.
Zuckerman said the decision had been reached Wednesday night and was filed with the clerk of the Athens County Municipal Court Thursday morning.
Peltz said the charges were likely dismissed due to “procedural error.”
“We filed a motion for dismissal because they violated our right to a speedy trial,” Peltz said.
After prosecutors refiled for fourth-degree misdemeanor charges against Sebo, Peltz, Yulish and Sirkin on Feb. 12, Peltz said, a new trial date was set for next week.
“I’m always pleased when my client doesn’t have to go to trial,” Zuckerman said.
Though he was pleased, Zuckerman said he wished some details of the case had come out in trial.
“I wish all the facts could come out at trial,” Zuckerman said. “I wish people could have seen the discriminatory way they were treated by the university and the student body.”