World

Capitol rioter who stormed Nancy Pelosi's office jailed

March 24, 2023
Riley June Williams was ultimately acquitted of stealing Pelosi's laptop
Riley June Williams was ultimately acquitted of stealing Pelosi's laptop

WASHINGTON — A woman who boasted that she stole top Democrat Nancy Pelosi's laptop and gavel during the Capitol riot in 2021 has been given a three-year jail term.

Riley June Williams, 23, "acted as an accelerant, exacerbating the mayhem" everywhere she went during the storming of Congress, prosecutors said.

She was convicted of six charges last year, but was acquitted of helping to steal Pelosi's office computer.

Over 1,000 people have been charged in connection with the Capitol riot.

A former romantic partner had told the FBI that Williams took Pelosi's computer and intended to sell the data to Russian intelligence. The computer and gavel have still not been found.

She was convicted in November of charges including felony civil disorder, impeding an officer and disorderly conduct.

But a jury was deadlocked on charges of aiding and abetting the theft of Pelosi's laptop, as well as obstruction of an official proceeding.

The pro-Trump rioters stormed the Capitol on 6 January 2021 as lawmakers were certifying Joe Biden's presidential victory over Donald Trump.

Prosecutors had asked US District Judge Amy Berman Jackson to sentence Williams to over seven years in prison. They said Williams was a supporter of the white nationalist "Groyper" movement.

Prosecutors also said she sought out large men wearing body armor and helmets and directed them like a "human battering ram" to push through riot police.

"Where others turned back, she pushed forward," prosecutors argued.

In court on Thursday, Williams apologized for her actions, saying: "I barely recognize the stupid girl who was yelling at police."

But Judge Jackson responded that she was the same age as officers that were assaulted that day.

The judge said that during her 90 minutes inside the Capitol, Williams acted "like a coxswain on a crew team" by "handpicking" larger rioters and directing their violence towards officers.

"She was not just a little waif blowing in the wind," Judge Jackson said. — BBC


March 24, 2023
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