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Two Ohio men get 45 days in jail for roles in U.S. Capitol riot By Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Police release tear gas into a crowd of pro-Trump protesters during clashes at a rally to contest the certification of the 2020 U.S. presidential election results by the U.S. Congress, at the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, U.S, January 6

By Jan Wolfe

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Two Ohio men on Wednesday received 45-day sentences after pleading guilty for their participation in the deadly Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot by supporters of former President Donald Trump, becoming the first defendants given jail time for nonviolent misdemeanor offenses committed that day.

U.S. District judge James Boasberg dismissed arguments from the two Ohio friends, Erik Rau and Derek Jancart, that they shouldn’t be sent to prison because they are responsible for their actions. Each man pleaded guilty in the case to disorderly behavior, which is a misdemeanor that can result in a minimum of six months imprisonment.

The sentencing hearings were held on Wednesday and both men expressed regret.

Rau said that “I know 100% better than what I did that morning.” Rau added, “I definitely should have thought of my wife” and “my children.”

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Jancart stated that he did not regret his actions. “I was caught up in the moment.”

Although neither man was accused in the violence committed by Trump supporters on Jan. 6, when they tried to prevent Congress from recertifying President Joe Biden’s win, prosecutors stated that both were ready for the act.

Prosecutors claim Jancart and Rau each brought gas masks. Rau, however, was armed with kevlar-lined gloves. Jancart and Rau were among the first to enter the Capitol. They are accused of encouraging others to follow their lead.

Rau shouted, “we have your surrounded!” as he entered Capitol. According to a court filing they said Rau’s “threatening statements” on the day of the attack were “akin inciting a disturbance and contributing to terror that day.”

Prosecutors claim that the two celebrated their acts on social media following the attack.

Jancart, Rau and eight other defendants were sentenced to prison for misdemeanor offences committed Jan 6. Some others who pleaded guilty were given probationary sentences. Others, however, received no additional jail time or were kept in pretrial custody.

For violent felony offences committed Jan. 6, defendants are likely to receive harsher punishments.

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