Capitol Hill rioter was not sentenced to jail after judge noted she showed up in tutu
A federal judge spared a rioter from the Capitol was jailed on Tuesday, noting that the woman had “appeared in a tutu” on January 6, and not in military uniform like so many others.
She “showed up in a tutu, not – as many did – in military gear,” Judge Carl Nichols explained Tuesday in federal court in Washington, DC, as he read his decision regarding the role of Rasha Abual-Ragheb, 41, in the attack.
Instead of a prison sentence, which prosecutors had called for, Judge Nichols, 51, issued the single mother-of-two with a two-month house arrest order – which Abual-Ragheb will serve in the pregnant from her home in Fairfield, New Jersey. .
Rasha Abual-Ragheb, 41, pictured left wearing a tutu during the January riots on Capitol Hill and right posing triumphantly among other rioters, avoided jail in a federal hearing over his role in the attack Tuesday. Instead, she will be placed under house arrest
In addition to house arrest, Abual-Ragheb will serve three years probation and pay a $ 500 fine, according to Nichols’ sentence
LONGEST SENTENCES OF THE CAPITOLIC RIOT:
- Jacob Chansley: Chansley, 34, of Arizona, known as “QAnon Shaman”, was sentenced on November 17 to 41 months in prison for storming the United States Capitol while armed of a spear.
- Scott fairlamb: The 44-year-old MMA fighter from New Jersey was sentenced to 41 months in prison for assaulting a police officer during the January 6 riots.
- Troy smocks: Dallas resident, 58, was sentenced to 14 months in prison for making threats against the US Congress on Speak, even though he did not enter Capitol Hill.
- Paul hodgkins: The 38-year-old Florida crane operator was sentenced to 8 months in prison for walking on the floor of the US Senate while carrying a red “Trump 2020” flag.
In addition to house arrest, Abual-Ragheb will serve three years probation and pay a fine of $ 500, according to Nichols’ sentence.
The decision came after Rasha Abual-Ragheb sobbed and pleaded during the nearly 90-minute virtual hearing, begging the judge not to administer a prison term.
Meanwhile, prosecutors argued that the woman, who donned the aforementioned ballet dress under a red-white-and-blue Uncle Sam outfit with a MAGA-style “Keep America Great” red hat during the January riots, deserved to serve. at least a month in prison for her role in the attacks – which the woman had reported in social media posts.
Crying profusely, the New Jersey mother insisted her incarceration would be a hardship on her two young children, who she said had to withdraw from class and homeschooling due to the intimidation that followed his arrest earlier this year.
“I never intended to do harm,” Abual-Ragheb attested in a brief but moving speech to Judge Nichols, expressing remorse for his actions moments before his sentencing, after pleading. guilty in August of marching, demonstrating or picketing the Capitol – a misdemeanor.
Federal prosecutors had argued that Abual-Ragheb’s 30-day jail sentence was justified, citing her social media posts that mentioned the civil war, showed her bringing guns to the nation’s capital and displayed an anarchist stance against the presidency – with her declaring that authorities should “kill her” to prevent her from protesting the inauguration of President Joe Biden.
“Civil war is approaching,” Abual-Ragheb wrote days after the controversial Jan.6 riots on Capitol Hill, in one of many deleted Facebook posts since prosecutors highlighted in Tuesday’s hearing.
In another post, which the single mom posted after her home state of New Jersey surrendered to Biden, Abual-Ragheb wrote, âI won’t stop. They have to kill me.
Federal prosecutor Michael Liebman attempted to use the posts, in which Abual-Ragheb fully exposed his political plea, to claim that the woman had willfully engaged in a brazen act of terrorism and deserved a prison sentence..
However, Nichol’s later move went against that sentiment, leaving the woman to get away with it after Abual-Ragheb’s defense lawyer Elita Amato testified that her client wanted no harm. and was engaging in a peaceful protest, citing his dress as evidence.
Rasha Abual-Ragheb recounted her role in the January 6, 2021 attack on the United States Capitol in a series of Facebook posts – many of which have since been deleted.
Abual-Ragheb showed off her red, white and blue outfit and a red MAGA-style “Keep America Great” hat on social media during the riots. In one of these articles, the single mother wrote: “I will not stop. They must kill me”, referring to her role in the riots
Prosecutors say riot caused nearly $ 1.5 million in damage to the United States Capitol
Abual-Ragheb indictment. prosecutors argued the New Jersey woman deserved to serve at least a month in jail for her role in the attacks
“It is clear that she never intended to participate in a civil war in the capital because she did not show up with a tactical vest, a gas mask, a ballistic helmet, a protective vest. bullets, radio equipment, a military-style backpack, a shield or a pitchfork or any of the other type of combat weaponry, âAmato wrote in a court file earlier this month.
“His actions were those of a person who did not come to wreak havoc and not to be violentâ¦ but someone who came just to come together and protest,” Amato added during the hearing of Tuesday.
“In terms of the things she wrote, before or after, she admits that a lot of them were stupid.”
Abual-Ragheb smokes a cigarette and chats with other rioters during the January protests. She was sentenced to two months of house arrest for her participation in the January 6 attack.
The single mother’s lawyer admitted on Tuesday that her client admitted her political social media posts during the attacks were “stupid”
Nichols admitted during Tuesday’s hearing that he was troubled by Abual-Ragheb’s social media posts – but added that he considered her “relatively gentle compared to others” who took storms the Capitol, as he gave her the slightest pain.
Nichols added that it was not appropriate to “infer the worst intentions” behind the social media posts, and sympathized with Lebanon-born Abual-Ragheb’s claim that she has little knowledge of the English language.
“I don’t think it’s reasonable to conclude that she was planning to actively participate in a civil war,” he concluded.