Earlier this year, University of California Santa Barbara Professor of Feminist Studies, Mireille Miller-Young was sentenced in a criminal case in connection with an assault on pro-life young people who took the pro-life message to the UCSB campus. Now, the civil side of the legal battle has concluded with her settling with the pro-life students she victimized, but still failing to issue an apology for her actions.
The incident, which took place on March 4, saw two pro-life students Thrin and Joan Short, lead the peaceful pro-life outreach event with 11 friends, most of whom were students from Thomas Aquinas College. They used signs displaying images of abortion victims to begin conversations with students before a confrontation by Professor of Feminist Studies, Mireille Miller-Young turned violent.
The angry professor interrupted the students’ calm interaction with the activists by grabbing a pro-life sign out of the hands of one of them, carrying the sign off through the campus flanked by her students, and then assaulting Thrin Short while trying to hide from police, who were on their way, the group said. Police officers later found the remains of the sign, which had been destroyed.
As LifeNews.com reported, Miller-Young was sentenced to 108 hours of community service, 10 hours of anger management, and three years probation for her assault on a group of pro-life students in early March. She was also ordered to pay a small fine and restitution of almost $500.
The incident took place on the Santa Barbara campus, where Miller-Young attacked and forcibly took property from teenagers who were exercising their free speech rights in the public square to educate about abortion and promote its alternatives. As a result, Miller-Young was convicted of grand theft, vandalism, and battery.
Now, Miller-Young, the University of California, and some students who acted as the professor’s accomplices decided to settle. Although the pro-life plaintiffs are bound by a confidentiality agreement, they can report that they are very satisfied with the agreement reached.
Although the University had every opportunity to voluntarily apologize for Miller-Young’s actions, Katie Short views the absence of an apology as a plus.
In an email to LifeNews, she said: “The defendants have settled. There has been no apology. If there had been, it would have been an exercise in insincerity. By not apologizing, the University demonstrates that it has no problem, in principle, with a professor who commits crimes like this on campus, as long as it’s done for the ‘right’ reason.”
“There’s a detail,” she adds, “that emphasizes this point. During discovery, we learned that the University never disciplined Prof. Miller-Young for her misconduct. But the nonchalance went deeper than that. Neither the University nor the faculty even initiated an investigation that could have resulted in discipline. Criminal acts, including those deliberately targeting the free exchange of ideas, are not a matter of serious concern for U.C. Santa Barbara.”
The Life Legal Defense Foundation, which represented the student and who Vice-President of Legal Affairs, Katie Short, is the mother of two of the students, also commented on the settlement.
“We believe that both the criminal conviction and the settlement constitute powerful warnings to pro-abortion faculty and staff at campuses around the country who might be tempted to interfere with the exercise of free speech by groups they disagree with. Pro-life activists can feel emboldened in their practice of life-saving campus intervention. And this means that, in the long run, many more lives may be saved from the abortion machine,” the group said.
Miller-Young issued a half-hearted apology that cited her supposed pregnancy as the reason for the attack.