- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 21, 2009

HARTFORD, CONN. (AP) - The reigning Miss Connecticut Outstanding Teen continues to hold her title, but she’s suspended from pageant-related activities because of a party at her home last month where teens were cited with underage drinking.

The Miss Connecticut Scholarship Corp. put the reign of 17-year-old Rachael Ramonas on hold after the party, where 24 teens were cited.

Authorities are not releasing the names of the teens because they are juveniles. It’s unclear if Ramonas was among those issued a ticket.

The party was held Feb. 21 at Ramonas’ home in Wolcott, about 30 miles southwest of Hartford.

Pageant officials say they’re waiting for court proceedings to end before deciding whether Ramonas can keep her title. She is prohibited from wearing her sash and crown in public or participating in pageant related events.

“Her crown was not taken away from her,” said Gail McCool, of the Miss Connecticut Scholarship Corp.

“At this point it’s between her and her family and the court,” McCool said. “We are not involved with that. Our involvement is waiting and hoping that she is cleared of everything.”

Ramonas’ term ends in June. Calls placed to her home seeking comment were not returned Monday or Tuesday.

Wolcott Police Capt. Domenic Angiolillo said the legal process for the teens usually takes three to six months.

“We are hearing whispers that a lot of the kids are pleading innocent,” Angiolillo said.

The infraction carries a $136 fine and an automatic driver’s license suspension for at least 30 days.

Ramonas had planned to act as spokesperson for Mothers Against Drunk Driving as part of her yearlong reign, but Connecticut’s chapter of MADD no longer is working with the teen, who once organized a benefit for the families of friends killed in a car crash in which the teen behind the wheel had a history of drunken driving.

She will not march alongside her pageant peers on May 2 during a MADD walk-a-thon in West Hartford, nor will she be allowed to perform in a May 8 MADD-sponsored high school talent show in North Haven.

MADD officials have not heard from Ramonas since before the party, said Janice Heggie Margolis, executive director of MADD’s Connecticut chapter.

“An apology was not made, and her behavior was not befitting what we would consider a role model,” Heggie Margolis said.


On the Net:

Miss Connecticut Scholarship Program: https://missctamerica.org/

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