OSSIPEE — The Jackson inkeeper who was accused last year of two counts of assault “with hate crime enhancement” pleaded guilty Monday in Carroll County Superior Court to two counts of Class A misdemeanor disorderly conduct.
Going along with the terms of a plea deal, Judge Amy Ignatius imposed a one-year jail sentence and a $620 fine, with both suspended for a year on conditions of good behavior and that Priscilla Protasowicki undergoes cultural bias and sensitivity training with proof delivered to the state within six months.
A grand jury indicted Protasowicki, 32, last July 20 in the alleged assault on Mohamed Ghallami and Chahrazade Mounaji of Massachusetts who were checking in to her family's motel with their 8-year-old daughter.
The indictment said Protasowicki mistreated the Muslim family of Moroccan heritage because of their faith and national origin.
Protasowicki, an innkeeper for her parents' lodging establishment on Route 16 in Jackson, the Covered Bridge Riverview Lodge, said last year she was merely ejecting unruly guests who were harassing her.
The indictments say Protasowicki pushed the motel guests and "was substantially motivated to commit the crime because of hostility towards the victim's religion, race, creed or national origin."
Monday those indictments were replaced with two charges of disorderly conduct, which said that Protasowicki on April 20, 2018, “knowingly engaged in tumultuous behavior in a public place directed at M.G. And C.M."
Protasowicki was represented by public defender Teresa Rostkowski Hepler. When asked by Ignatius if she was satisfied with Hepler's services, Protasowicki said she was “very, very happy” with her attorney.
The case was prosecuted by Deputy Carroll County Attorney Steve Briden.
Also dealt with on Monday was a district court case with charges of false use of 911 and violation of protective order filed by Jackson police. These charges were essentially put on file for the year of good behavior, said Briden.
Hepler told Ignatius she has “an idea” for how her client can get the sensitivity training the judge ordered.
“I’m glad you talked about ways to work out what kind of programming is acceptable,” said Ignatius, adding she won’t dictate the terms of the training Protasowicki must undergo. “I won’t get in the middle of that one but hopefully that will all get scheduled fairly soon and will be useful. I think that’s a sound result in this situation.”
After the plea and sentencing hearing, the Carroll County Attorney’s Office issued a statement saying it is "glad that the defendant has accepted responsibility for her actions and has plead guilty. New Hampshire should be a welcoming place for all people to visit and enjoy, regardless of their race, religion, or orientation. The defendant has agreed to engage in cultural bias courses as a part of this resolution, which shows her understanding of the damage that her words caused in this case. Hopefully that work will help make sure that a situation like this never occurs again."
Protasowicki still faces a New Hampshire Civil Rights Act action initiated by the Attorney General's Office. The maximum civil penalty for a violation of the act is a $5,000 fine. She may also be ordered to pay restitution. That matter is scheduled for a bench trial in early September.