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LaPenta must Repenta: Judge won’t toss contempt ruling in T-shirt case

Illinois – from – A Lake County judge declined this morning to vacate a contempt of court ruling against a Round Lake Park woman who wore a T-shirt in court that offended the judge.

Jennifer LaPenta was jailed in early May by Lake County Associate Judge Helen Rozenberg after the judge held her in contempt. In court for a friend’s hearing that day, LaPenta wore a shirt that displays the words: “I have the (slang for female body part) so I make the rules.”

Attorney Peter Kalagis asked Rozenberg today to vacate the order, which came with a 48-hour jail sentence LaPenta has served. Rozenberg did not vacate the order this morning, Kalagis said.

Kalagis plans to continue to fight the contempt order in state appeals court, he said. Kalagis said the shirt constitutes speech protected under the First Amendment. LaPenta wants the contempt ruling off her record, Kalagis said.

“We respect the judge’s opinion, but we don’t agree with it,” he said.

LaPenta wore professional attire in court today, Kalagis said, but she still owns the T-shirt.


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