Judge Makes Example of Jan. 6 Rioter Sentenced to 45 Days for Misdemeanor

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Despite a defense lawyer asking for probation and a federal prosecutor suggesting three months of home confinement for Matthew C. Mazzocco, a Jan. 6 rioter convicted of illegally demonstrating at the U.S. Capitol, U.S. District Judge Tanya S. Chutkan decided to sentence Matthew C. Mazzocco to 45 days in jail, 60 hours of community service and $500 restitution for the damage done to the Capitol building, calling the decision a deterrence against future criminality, reports the Washington Post. Of 11 defendants sentenced so far, Mazzocco is the first to receive a jail term when prosecutors had not asked for one.

Mazzocco posted photos of himself on Facebook in the Capitol on Jan. 6, which led other parents involved in his youth sports league to identify him to the FBI. Chutkan acknowledged that Mazzocco had pleaded guilty only to one misdemeanor count of “parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol building,” a common charge for many of the rioters. She noted that Mazzocco had only been in the Capitol for 12 minutes, that he did not inflict any damage and that he had urged other people not to cause any damage. However, in response to letters from Mazzocco’s friends and family saying he had wandered into the Capitol out of impulse and curiosity, Chutkan argued that Mazzocco knew what he was doing and that he got on a plane from Texas with intent to interfere with the transition of power. If the defendant “walks away with probation and a slap on the wrist,” Judge Chutkan said, “that’s not going to deter anyone from trying what he did again.”

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