A federal judge sentenced a US Capitol rioter who brought her teenage son along on January 6, 2021, to three months behind bars for illegally parading in the building.
The 90-day sentence is one of the longer jail sentences January 6 defendants have received for this non-violent misdemeanor. Before handing down the sentence, Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly rebuked Virginia Spencer for bringing her child and questioned whether she had accepted responsibility for her role in the insurrection.
“This isn’t like a school or a tourist trip,” Kollar-Kotelly said.
The sentence includes a term of three years’ probation, which other federal judges have shied away from combining with jail time for misdemeanor defendants.
According to court documents, while inside the Capitol, Spencer – who wore a sweatshirt with the words “F**k Gun Control” on the back – entered offices assigned to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and joined a “crowd that formed outside the House of Representatives chamber that attempted to enter that chamber while lawmakers were still trapped inside.”
Spencer, who pleaded guilty in September, told Kollar-Kotelly she was “very sorry” for her actions that day. Her husband, Christopher Spencer, has pleaded not guilty to several charges related to the Capitol riot. It’s unclear when his case will go to trial or if a plea agreement will be reached beforehand. The name of the 14-year old was not disclosed by the government.
Before handing down her sentence, Kollar-Kotelly said she found “it very hard to comprehend … why you would bring a 14-year-old minor son to the Capitol,” adding that it showed a “lack of judgment.”
“Law enforcement had weapons, some of the [rioters] had weapons,” the judge said. “This isn’t like a school or a tourist trip. … I don’t understand but I sincerely hope he is alright,” Kollar-Kotelly continued, suggesting that it could have been “traumatic” for the boy.
Over 725 people have been arrested in relation to the Capitol breach, according to the FBI, with over 70 sentenced thus far and over 30 receiving jail time.