Local activist and Cuesta College graduate Tianna Arata appeared in court for the first time today, Sept. 3 since she was arrested following a Black Lives Matter protest she organized in San Luis Obispo in July. 

District Attorney Dan Dow announced yesterday that she would be charged with 13 misdemeanors, including five counts of false imprisonment, six counts of obstruction of a thoroughfare, one count of unlawful assembly, and one count of disturbing the peace by loud noise.

Arata, her attorney Patrick Fisher, and attorney Lisa Muscari for the District Attorney’s office appeared via Zoom for Arata’s arraignment. Judge Matthew Guerrero presided over the hearing.

Judge Guerrero began by informing Arata of her charges, and then Arata indicated to Guerrero that she understood her charges.

Arata has the right to enter pleas and to request a court or jury trial within 45 days from today, Guerrero said. 

Fisher requested to postpone Arata’s arraignment date to have more time to file motions. At her arraignment date, she would enter a plea (often guilty or not guilty), and she can request a trial.

Guerrero set Arata’s arraignment date to be Thursday Sept. 17 at 8:30 a.m. in Department 8.

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