- A defendant in the New York Capitol riots was sentenced Friday to home jail and probation.
- Justin McAuliffe formally requested a lenient verdict earlier this week, citing his genuine remorse.
- The New York CPA said he has lost access to Airbnb and the TSA PreCheck since his arrest.
A New York Capitol rioter who earlier this week requested a lenient sentence will be spared jail time after a federal judge sentenced him to home jail and conditional imprisonment for his role in the January 6, 2021 uprising.
Justin McAuliffe pleaded guilty to a charge of misdemeanor for parade, strike or demonstration in the Capitol area in November.
The auditor was initially faced with a single charge of knowingly entering into limited causes and disorder. But as the government works to prosecute the more than 760 people arrested in connection with the attack, federal prosecutors have offered several nonviolent Capitol rioters the minor parade charge in return for their guilty charges.
McAuliffe made headlines earlier this week when he said he was excluded from Airbnb and Lyft and lost his TSA PreCheck as a result of his arrest. A lawyer for McAuliffe made the allegations in a court memo in which he formally requested a fine exemption prior to his Friday hearing. The document drew up a list of consequences McAuliffe claims to have suffered in the year since the Capitol siege, including the loss of professional clients and investment partnerships as well as broken personal relationships.
But during a sentencing hearing Friday, McAuliffe’s attorney, Richard D. Collins, stressed his client’s genuine remorse and told the court that McAuliffe has spent the past year reflecting on the decisions that led him to the Capitol on Jan. 6, according to WUSA.
According to his lawyer, McAuliffe is focusing on reviving his relationship with his wife, who sought separation after the siege, and rebuilding trust in his former clients, the business reported.
“Judge, this is ultimately a story of redemption,” Collins said.
In the end, U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth was apparently persuaded, rejecting federal prosecutors’ request for a shared sentence of 14 days in jail and three years probation, and sentenced McAuliffe to 60 days in prison and three years probation. The verdict also comes with social media restrictions for McAuliffe during that period, and he will have to pay $ 500 in compensation for damage to the Capitol building.
Prosecutors say McAuliffe posted photos and comments from the Capitol on Jan. 6. In a Facebook comment, McAuliffe admitted to having been in a lawmaker’s office during the siege, saying “yeah, I was in one of the offices. Some people smoked a joint in the room, lol,” according to billing documents.
McAulife’s Facebook post prompted several people to contact the FBI and identify him as a participant in the riot, prosecutors said. McAuliffe deleted his Facebook account after the attack, according to court records.
In court Friday, McAulife’s attorney said his client could still face a challenge to his New York CPA license because of the federal offense, according to WUSA.
After handing down the verdict, Lamberth warned McAuliffe to stay out of trouble and told him that probation “only comes once in a lifetime,” the business reported.
A McAuliffe lawyer told Insider that the events of January 6 “will forever stain our country.”
“Courts are judging justice for those involved in relation to their individual guilt,” Collins said. “It was done today with respect to Mr. McAuliffe, whose deep remorse is sincere.”
“Beyond that, it is my fervent hope that our nation moves forward toward healing,” he added.