Matthew Mazzocco, a Texas man convicted of illegally demonstrating at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, is the first rioter to receive a jail term when prosecutors did not ask for one, The Washington Post reports.
U.S. District Judge Tanya S. Chutkan on Monday said the "country is watching to see what the consequences are for something that has not ever happened in this country before, for actions and crimes that undermine the rule of law and our democracy," and if Mazzocco walked away with "probation and a slap on the wrist, that's not going to deter anyone from trying what he did again." Chutkan sentenced Mazzocco to 45 days in jail and 60 hours of community service and ordered him to pay $500 in restitution for damage done to the Capitol building during the riot.
Court records say Mazzocco, 38, posted online photos he took at the Capitol on Jan. 6, and parents involved in the same San Antonio youth sports league turned him into the FBI. He was arrested on Jan. 17 and fired from his job as a loan officer. In July, Mazzocco pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor, and prosecutors recommended he serve three months of home confinement.
Chutkan noted that Mazzocco was inside the Capitol for 12 minutes and did not personally cause any damage, but "his presence was part of the mob. The mob isn't the mob without the number. People committed those violence acts because they had the safety of numbers."
Before he was sentenced, Mazzocco told the court he is "truly sorry for my actions that day. It has truly taken a toll on me. I'm not just saying that because I want to get off. I know I made a big mistake. I want to apologize to the country, to you, and to the police officers. ... I'm just very sorry."