A woman accused of helping steal then-Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi’s laptop during the January 6, 2021 storming of the Capitol has been sentenced to three years in prison on riot charges.
Riley June Williams, 23, of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, was convicted Thursday despite a November jury returning no verdict on charges of “complicity in the theft of the laptop.”
The jury was also dead in November on charges of obstructing official proceedings, a reference to the protesters’ disruption of Congress, which was meeting to certify President Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory when the riot broke out.
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Instead, Williams was found guilty of four other counts, including a misdemeanor misdemeanor.
Riley June Williams has been sentenced to prison for her role in the U.S. Capitol riot on Jan. 6 (Dauphin County Prison via AP Photo)
Prosecutors, who petitioned U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson to sentence Williams to seven years and three months in prison, called the convicted woman an “accelerator” who “exacerbated the chaos.”
“Where others turned, she penetrated,” the prosecutors wrote in a report.
Williams’ defense, meanwhile, said her youth and gender set her apart from the majority of those present on Jan. 6.
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“In other respects, she resembles many other January 6 defendants with no previous criminal record, who were overtaken by the mob that day, acting impulsively and without considering the consequences of their actions,” the defense wrote.
They asked for a one-year prison sentence for Williams, who was 22 years old at the time of the Capitol bombing.
Jackson’s three-year sentence handed down Thursday also included three years of supervised release and a $2,000 restitution fee, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia.
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Prosecutors said Williams was an ardent supporter of the “Groyper” white national movement, led by online personality Nick Fuentes who infamously dined with Trump and rapper Kanye West, now known as Ye, at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in November 2022.
Prosecutors said Williams became “obsessed” with Fuentes when he spread baseless claims of fraud by Trump in the wake of his 2020 election loss.
William’s defense had argued that her political beliefs should not play a role in sentencing.
But prosecutors described how Williams participated in a day of destruction on Jan. 6, after arriving in Washington, D.C., wearing an “I’m with Groyper” T-shirt.
She attended Trump’s “Stop the Steal” rally before heading to the Capitol, where she entered through a Senate gull-wing door two minutes after other rioters broke through the entrance, prosecutors said.
At the Capitol, they used men in helmets and body armor as a “human battering ram” to break through police lines, they said.
Meanwhile, in Pelosi’s office, she stole a hammer and encouraged another rioter to grab a laptop from a table.
“While the other rioter later manipulated the laptop and cords, Williams filmed the theft she had just ordered and encouraged, and further instructed the rioter, ‘Dude, put on gloves!'” prosecutors said in court documents.
All told, Williams spent nearly 90 minutes at the Capitol, prosecutors said.
Before her arrest, prosecutors alleged that Williams also destroyed evidence, deleted her social media accounts, reset her iPhone and used software to wipe her computer.
That was after Williams bragged online that she stole Pelosi’s gavel, laptop and hard drives and that she had “given, or attempted to give, the electronic devices to unnamed Russian individuals,” prosecutors said.
“To date, neither the laptop nor the hammer have been recovered,” they said in a June 2022 lawsuit.
About 1,000 people have been charged with federal crimes related to the uprising at the Capitol. More than 400 have been convicted, and more than half of them received prison terms ranging from seven days to ten years.