January 6 Defendants Don't Seem to Be 'Truly Accepting Responsibility,' Federal Judge Says

A federal judge on Friday sentenced a man charged in connection with the January 6 Capitol riot to three months in jail, saying that he hopes it sends a message to other alleged insurrectionists who don't appear to be "truly accepting responsibility," the Associated Press reported.

More than 630 people have been charged for roles in the insurrection and some guilty pleas have begun to pile in, but U.S. District Judge Thomas Hogan said while giving the sentence that he doesn't believe guilty pleas necessarily equate accountability.

"It's become evident to me that many of the defendants pleading guilty do not truly accept responsibility. They seem, to me, to be trying to get this out of the way as quickly as possible, stating whatever they have to say...but not changing their attitude," Hogan said.

Robert Reeder, a Maryland man, initially said that he was an "accidental tourist" during the January 6 riot, AP reported. A video later surfaced of him grabbing a police officer during the insurrection, which left many of the responding law enforcement officers beaten and bloodied as a mob of former President Donald Trump's supporters violently stormed the Capitol.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

Jan. 6 Trials Continue
A federal judge on Friday sentenced a man charged in connection with the January 6 Capitol riot to three months in jail, saying that he hopes it sends a message to other alleged insurrectionists who don’t appear to be “truly accepting responsibility. Above, supporters of former President Donald Trump try to break through a police barrier at the Capitol in Washington on January 6, 2021. Julio Cortez/AP Photo

Hogan said he believed Reeder is sorry now and sentenced him to half of the six months prosecutors had wanted, but the judge said some of Reeder's previous statements had been "disingenuous and self-serving."

Hogan said he hopes the sentence sends a signal that people convicted in the riot will face jail time.

"This was an attack on the operations of Congress and the Capitol of the United States, a really sacrosanct building," he said.

Reeder had been expected to get probation last month, after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor and saying he had not been involved in any violence that day.

Maryland Man Faces Jail for Jan. 6
U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Hogan hopes the three-month sentence given to Robert Reeder will send a message to other defendants who don't seem to be truly accepting responsibility. Reeder is shown in a Maryland driver's license photo provided by the Department of Justice criminal complaint. Department of Justice via AP

Then armchair detectives who call themselves Sedition Hunters unearthed the video online. Prosecutors said the recording captured an assault on an officer, though they opted not to file new charges.

Reeder said he touched or grabbed the officer's shoulder, and forgot to mention it in previous FBI interviews where he voluntarily shared video with agents.

"Immediately after the interaction with the police officer. I just wanted to get out of there. It just wasn't me," he said. "I've always been regretful and ashamed of being there, not because I'm in trouble but because I saw what happened and it was disgusting."

The throng sent lawmakers running for their lives and caused $1 million in damage.