WASHINGTON – A federal judge on Monday sentenced Florida resident Paul Hodgkins to eight months in prison for his role in the Jan. 6 attack on the United States Capitol, making him the first person to be sentenced to hundreds in prison. accused protesters being criminally investigated.
Mr. Hodgkins, 38, pleaded guilty June 2 to obstructing a formal proceeding after Congress was in the process of formally certifying Joe Biden’s election last November as president of the United States, when supporters of the former president Donald Trump stormed the building.
At a hearing Monday, prosecutor Mona Sedky told Judge Randolph Moss that Hodgkins, a Tampa resident, wore glasses before entering the Senate courtroom during the riots and “proudly posed for a selfie” he sent to friends.
Prosecutor Sedky admitted that Hodgkins did not destroy any property “and did not injure anyone.”
In a statement to the court, Mr. Hodgkins said he was “sorry” for his actions in Washington and acknowledged that those actions may have encouraged others to engage in destructive acts.
“This was a reckless decision on my part for which I take full responsibility,” Mr Hodgkins told the court.
Judge Moss agreed that Hodgkins had not been violent, had not threatened anyone, and had not organized the attack on the Capitol. But the judge said Hodgkins went to the Capitol “to prevent the certification of the election and he admitted that he did.”
The judge said that while he believed Mr Hodgkins’ involvement in the riots was an “anomaly in his life”, he also believed that the January 6 attack had “tarnished” the history of the United States and that it was necessary to prevent protesters. next.
More than 535 people have been accused of taking part in the attack, an unsuccessful attempt to stop Congress from certifying Mr Biden’s victory over President Trump, who had falsely claimed the election had been stolen from him through widespread electoral manipulation.
While other protesters accused of Jan. 6 have pleaded guilty, Mr. Hodgkins became the first to be sentenced to prison.