The son of a New York judge who stormed the US Capitol wearing a furry caveman costume has been sentenced to eight months in prison.
U.S. District Judge James Boasberg told Aaron Mostofsky he was “literally on the front line” of the mob attack on January 6, 2021.
“What you and others did that day left an indelible mark on how our nation is perceived, both at home and abroad, and it cannot be undone,” the judge said. to Mostofsky, 35 years old.
Judge Boasberg also sentenced Mostofsky to a year on probation and ordered him to perform 200 hours of community service and pay $2,000 (£1,600) in restitution.
Mostofsky had begged the judge for mercy, saying he was ashamed of his “contribution to the chaos of that day”.
“I feel sorry for the officers who had to deal with this chaos,” said Mostofsky, who is due in jail on or after June 5.
Federal sentencing guidelines in his case recommended a prison term ranging from 10 months to 16 months.
Prosecutors have recommended a sentence of 15 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release.
Mostofsky was one of the first rioters to enter the restricted area around the Capitol and among the first to enter the building itself, through the Senate wing doors, according to prosecutors.
He pushed against a police barrier that officers were trying to move and stole a Capitol Police body armor and riot shield, prosecutors said.
“Mostofsky encouraged other rioters as they confronted police outside the Capitol building, even celebrating with a punch at one of his fellow rioters,” prosecutors wrote in a court filing.
Inside the building, Mostofsky followed rioters who chased Capitol Police officer Eugene Goodman down a flight of stairs leading to the Senate chambers.
He took the police vest and shield with him when he left the Capitol, about 20 minutes after entering.
Mostofsky carried a cane and wore a fur suit.
He told a friend the suit expressed his belief that “even a caveman” would know the 2020 presidential election was stolen from former President Donald Trump.
Mostofsky frequently wears costumes at events, according to his lawyers.
“To put it mildly, The New Yorker is quirky even by hometown standards,” they wrote.
A New York Post reporter interviewed him inside the Capitol during the riot.
He told the reporter that he stormed the Capitol because “the election was stolen.”
Mostofsky worked as an assistant architect in New York.
Her father, Steven Mostofsky, is a judge in Brooklyn State Court.
“The fact that his father was a judge means he should have been better able than the other defendants to understand why the election fraud allegations were false,” Justice Department prosecutor Michael Romano said.
Judge Boasberg said that none of the letters of support submitted by Mostofsky’s family and friends explain how he “descended down that rabbit hole of electoral fantasy”.
“I hope at this point you understand that your indulgence in this fantasy led to this tragic situation,” Judge added.
Aaron Mostofsky pleaded guilty in February to felony civil disorder and misdemeanor charges of theft of government property and entering and staying in a restricted building or property.
Mostofsky was the first Capitol rioter to be convicted of a civil disturbance conviction.
Mostofsky’s lawyers have requested a sentence of house arrest, probation and community service.
Defense attorney Nicholas Smith described Mostofsky as a “bystander” who “drift with the crowd” and did not come to the Capitol to interfere with the peaceful transfer of power.
“He did things he shouldn’t have done,” Mr Smith said.
“But there’s a big difference between an ideologue driven to commit acts of violence and someone who ends up doing bad things when they find themselves in a crowd.”
More than 780 people have been charged with federal crimes related to the Capitol riot, and more than 280 of them have pleaded guilty, mostly to misdemeanors.
More than 160 defendants were sentenced, including more than 60 to prison terms ranging from 14 days to five years and three months.
About 100 more have trial dates.