LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A UC Santa Barbara professor is facing multiple charges after she got into an on-campus scuffle with anti-abortion protestors.
The feud erupted over a pro-life poster that Mireille Miller-Young, an Associate Professor of Feminine Studies, allegedly took from Joan Short and a group of friends sharing their views against abortion on March 4.
CBS2’s Amy Johnson reports the 16-year-old sister of pro-life activist Joan Short videotaped the encounter, during which the professor is seen kicking the foot of one of the protestors and pushing her out of an elevator, allegedly causing scratches on her arm. Short can be heard on the video calling police.
“They were stealing our sign. They were break the law right then,” Short said.
“She was shouting obscenities at us,” protestor Mairead McArdle said.
The group of women say the ordeal began in the free speech area of the campus.
“First she wanted the students to tear it down for her. And then when she realized that people weren’t really going to do that, then she just grabbed it out of [her] hands,” McArdle said.
The protestors say the professor told them during the scuffle that she herself was pregnant.
“She just told us right out that if there was something wrong with the baby – if she found out that it had Down syndrome or something – that she was going to have an abortion,” McArdle said.
Miller-Young reportedly destroyed the poster.
“It’s disturbing. I’ll grant you that. We want people to see it because it’s real,” protestor Annie Gribbin said of their decision to release the footage.
The professor is now facing three misdemeanor charges that include theft from a person, battery and vandalism.
Miller-Young did not respond to CBS2’s request for comment at press time.
A spokesperson for the school, which is currently on spring break, declined to discuss details.
“The University is aware of the incident and it is being reviewed by the appropriate offices. It is policy not to comment on personnel matters. Personnel matters are considered confidential,” the statement read.
Miller-Young is due in court next month. If convicted as charged, she faces up to two-and-a-half years behind bars.