Washington — Stephen Ayres, an Ohio guy who became a part of the mob that entered the U.S. Capitol constructing on Jan. 6, 2021, and later regarded earlier than the House pick committee probing the assault, became sentenced to probation through a federal decide Thursday and could keep away from incarceration.
U.S. District Judge John Bates ordered Ayres to serve 24 months probation, entire one hundred hours of network provider and pay $500 in restitution, telling federal prosecutors and Ayres he believed the sentence is sufficient “to bring about a few deterrence and the right diploma of deterrence.”
“He became withinside the Capitol best approximately 10 minutes … in no way going into any of the extra touchy regions of the Capitol,” Bates stated at some point of the sentencing hearing. “He has absolutely cooperated with regulation enforcement, and I even have to mention that from my assessment, he has proven true regret and regret, and that consists of attesting earlier than the January 6 committee.”
Bates additionally stated Ayres, in contrast to others charged for his or her behavior on Jan. 6, performed no position in inflicting the breach of the Capitol and did now no longer ruin evidence.
“The occasions of January 6, it became a travesty in American history, a surprising assault on our democratic values and establishments and at the bodily group of america Capitol,” the decide stated. “All who participated in that insurrection, I suppose it could be referred to as, need to be held responsible.”
Bates referred to as the Capitol attack “a risk to one of the critical tenets of our loved shape of authorities, and this is the non violent switch of strength from one presidential management to another” and a “blight at the country.”
Ayres became arrested in past due January 2021 and charged with 4 counts associated with his participation withinside the Jan. 6 assault. He agreed to plead responsible to at least one rely of disorderly and disruptive behavior in a constrained constructing, a misdemeanor.
Ayres admitted to touring from his domestic in Ohio to Washington, D.C., to protest Congress’ certification of the Electoral College votes and took part withinside the rally outdoor the White House earlier than marching with different supporters of former President Donald Trump to the Capitol.
According to courtroom docket filings, he entered the Capitol simply earlier than three p.m., and remained withinside the constructing for more or less 10 minutes, becoming a member of others “chanting and parading.” He additionally made posts on his Facebook account withinside the days earlier than the insurrection, which include one wherein he accused Chief Justice John Roberts, President Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of committing treason in opposition to Trump.
Federal prosecutors requested the courtroom docket to impose a sentence of 60 days in jail for Ayres, observed through three hundred and sixty five days of supervised release, $500 in restitution and 60 hours of network provider.
“The authorities genuinely can’t condone that form of behavior, your honor,” Nihar Mohanty, an assistant U.S. attorney, advised Bates of Ayres’ actions. Still, he stated that Ayres “behaved much less culpably” than different defendants located to have assaulted law enforcement officials or destroyed property.
Both Ayres and his spouse provided short feedback earlier than Bates surpassed down his sentence. Ayres, who regarded to be crying as he spoke, apologized to the courtroom docket and the American people, announcing he got “stuck up” in posts he became seeing on social media.
“I pray each day for the officials which might be struggling, with households that misplaced their cherished ones,” he stated. “I simply wish at some point I can awaken and now no longer must stay with it each day, due to the fact I do each day.”
Ayres testified in July earlier than lawmakers investigating the occasions surrounding Jan. 6 and the attack itself and advised the House pick committee that he and others who breached the Capitol had been following what Trump stated. He stated he believed Trump’s baseless claims the 2020 election became stolen and advised investigators he in all likelihood could now no longer have traveled to Washington for the rally on Jan. 6 if Trump hadn’t driven the ones allegations.