Homeless woman to be released from jail one week after defecation charge

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SARASOTA - A Sarasota lawyer has come to the rescue of a homeless woman that has been stuck in jail after being arrested for public defecation and not having a public defender assigned to her.

56-year-old Laura Mallia was arrested on July 23rd in Sarasota after defecating on the sidewalk along Ringling Boulevard, according to deputies.

Without a public defender assigned to her, Mallia spent over a week in jail when she was unable to pay the $120 needed for her release.

Mallia has a long criminal history, with charges for trespassing, drugs, and disorderly conduct.

ABC 7 has learned that Sarasota attorney Andrea Mogenson has decided to take the case on pro bono and is working on Mallia's release.

ABC 7's Bobeth Yates will have more on this story tonight on ABC 7 News at 5, including a look at what the county pays per day to keep an inmate in the jail system.