Student accused in racist attack withdraws from University of Kentucky

Sophia Rosing, accused of physically assaulting a Black student worker
Sophia Rosing is accused of physically assaulting a Black student worker while repeatedly using racial slurs at the University of Kentucky.
(Fayette County (Ky.) Detention Center via Associated Press)

A white University of Kentucky student accused of physically assaulting a Black student worker while repeatedly using racial slurs will withdraw from the school, her lawyer said Tuesday.

Sophia Rosing, who was a senior set to graduate in May, will seek help for the issues she has, attorney Fred Peters said.

Rosing was charged on Sunday by campus police with first and second offenses of alcohol intoxication in a public place, third-degree assault of a police officer, fourth-degree assault and second-degree disorderly conduct, according to an arrest report.


The altercation at Boyd Hall was captured on video and posted to multiple social media platforms. Kylah Spring, a freshman working as a desk clerk, says in the video that Rosing hit her multiple times and kicked her in the stomach. Spring said the attack began when she asked Rosing, who appeared to be intoxicated, if she was OK.

Rosing can be heard using racial slurs throughout the video and a police report says she continued using derogatory language after being taken into custody.

Spring, who was working an overnight shift, never retaliated and said at one point: “I don’t get paid enough for this.”

After police arrived, Rosing told an officer that she has “lots of money and [gets] special treatment,” according to an arrest affidavit. “When I told her to sit back in the chair, she kicked me and bit my hand.”

Rosing pleaded not guilty to the charges during an arraignment Monday afternoon and bonded out of jail later in the day.

“She’s very humiliated and embarrassed and remorseful,” Peters said of his client.

University officials said the Office for Student Conduct began a review immediately after becoming aware of the incident, and the process for disciplinary proceedings was underway. It wasn’t immediately clear how the withdrawal would affect the proceedings.

Hundreds of students rallied on campus Monday night in response to the incident and called for the university to address the situation quickly, news outlets reported.


During the rally, Spring addressed the woman accused of assaulting her.

“You will not break my spirit and you will be held accountable for your actions,” she said. “I only pray that you open your heart to love and try to experience life differently and more positively after this.”

Troy Rawlins Jr., who attended the march, said he is angry and disappointed about what happened but glad the university is investigating. He told the Lexington Herald-Leader he hopes for a quick resolution.

“We are here to have our voices be heard so we can effectively combat racism on our campus,” Rawlins said. “We need our voices to be heard. Our voices are falling on deaf ears. The only way we are going to be heard is if we come together.”

The university’s Office for Student Success has offered support services for the victims and University President Eli Capilouto said the video images reflect violence “and a denial of the humanity of members of our community.”

“To be clear: We condemn this behavior and will not tolerate it under any circumstance. The safety and well-being of our community has been — and will continue to be — our top priority,” Capilouto said.