Teen who flipped off Florida judge has 'changed'

MIAMI

Penelope Soto, 18, was charged with illegal possession of Xanax. The blow-up, in which she directed the F-word and flipped the bird at the judge, was during her bail hearing Feb. 5 after the judge doubled her bail amount. The judge then found her in contempt and sentenced her to 30 days in jail. He released her in a couple of days after she apologized.

This week, Soto made another court appearance after being ordered into a drug treatment program. It appears to be working. She got a round of applause from the courtroom.

"Miss Soto, congratulations," the judge told her. "I think lots of things have changed for you. One, you smile now, which we didn't see before. And I wish you well in the program."

"Thank you," she replied with a faint smile.

Soto has passed all her drug tests and is regularly attending narcotics anonymous meetings. If she keeps up the good work, the drug charge will be dropped.

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