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Two Capitol riot defendants sentenced to 45 days in jail on misdemeanor charge

Capitol Riot Derek Jancart
Posted at 1:18 PM, Sep 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-30 13:18:01-04

In what may serve as a benchmark sentencing for others convicted in the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol, a judge has ordered two Ohio men to spend 45 days in jail for a misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct.

According to CNN and ABC News, Air Force veteran Derek Jancart and his friend, Erik Rau, were sentenced to 45 days in jail Wednesday by District Judge James Boasberg.

Jancart and Rau were not found to have committed any violent acts on Jan. 6. However, prosecutors allege that they had returned to their hotel following a speech by President Donald Trump and quickly returned to the National Mall after seeing that the president's supporters were storming the Capitol.

The pair joined the riot and made it all the way to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's conference room before they encountered police. Video shows that Rau shouting "we have you surrounded" to officers, and the pair celebrated when rioters broke police lines.

Prosecutors had sought a four-month sentence for the two. However, Boasberg said Wednesday that a 45-day sentence served as "the best balance" between the events of Jan. 6 and the conduct of the defendants.

"You attempted with others to undermine one of our bedrock acts, which is the peaceful transition of power after an election," the judge said during Wednesday's proceedings. "When you try to eliminate that principle, you strike at the heart of our democracy."

Both defendants apologized for their actions during the sentencing.

"I did get caught up in the moment ... I wish, in hindsight, I had stayed back," Jancart said, according to ABC News. "I love this country, and I feel ashamed of my actions."

"There is no excuse for my actions on Jan. 6," Rau said, according to CNN. "There is no excuse for even leaving my hotel to go over there. I can't tell you how much this has just twisted my stomach every day since it happened."