A woman under probation, community service after shouting racist insults at women and children

A white woman from Lynn, Massachusetts, was sentenced to nine months in prison after she drove about three black women and their five children, shouting racial insults at them.

The Associated Press reported that Rhonda Wozniak, 61, was sentenced Tuesday in Lynn District Court. In addition to the probation period, Wozniak must also perform 40 hours of community service and has been ordered to stay away from victims, according to a statement from the Essex County District Attorney’s office Jonathan Blodgett.

The accident occurred on the evening of July 28, 2020. MassLive reported that Wozniak approached the victims in a parking lot at Feinen Square in Swampscott, Massachusetts.

The children involved were between 5 and 12 years old at the time. They and the women were on their way back to their cars after visiting a cookie store called Cookie Monstah.

Then Wozniak came “speeding towards them in her car, and almost hit them,” according to the prosecution’s account.

Prosecutors said that when one of the women asked Wozniak to calm down, she shouted insults and racial slurs “and told them to go back to where they belong.” The women soon reported the incident to the police.

According to MassLive, Wozniak originally pleaded not guilty to the eight counts of civil rights violations, charges of assault with a dangerous weapon, disturbing the peace, and disorderly conduct during her trial.

For more reports from the Associated Press, see below.

Rhonda Wozniak was sentenced to nine months of probation and 40 hours of community service. In the photo above, the judge’s gavel is resting on a table.
Getty Images

“The defendant’s behavior was harmful and offensive not only to the victims but also to society at large,” Blodgett said in a statement.

Wozniak was identified by her car’s license plate, which was captured on videotape by one of the victims and on surveillance video from a company.

Wozniak’s attorneys, Doug Ryan and Joe Simmons, said in a statement that they were preparing for a trial but that their client “ultimately decided to plead guilty, and in return, they were sentenced to probation.”

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