- A New York Capitol riot defendant was sentenced to home detention and probation on Friday.
- Justin McAuliffe formally requested a lenient sentence earlier this week, citing his genuine remorse.
- The New York CPA said he’s lost access to Airbnb and TSA PreCheck since his arrest.
A Capitol riot defendant from New York who requested a lenient sentence earlier this week will be spared prison time after a federal judge sentenced him to home detention and probation for his role in the January 6, 2021, insurrection.
Justin McAuliffe pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor charge of parading, picketing, or demonstrating inside Capitol grounds in November.
The accountant initially faced one count each of knowingly entering restricted grounds and disorderly conduct. But as the government works to prosecute the more than 760 people arrested in connection to the attack, federal prosecutors have offered several non-violent Capitol rioters the lesser parading charge in exchange for their guilty pleas.
McAuliffe made headlines earlier this week when he said he was barred from Airbnb and Lyft and lost his TSA PreCheck as a result of his arrest. An attorney for McAuliffe made the claims in a sentencing memo formally requesting leniency ahead of his Friday hearing. The document laid out a list of consequences McAuliffe claims to have suffered in the year since the Capitol siege, including the loss of professional clients and investment partnerships, as well as broken personal relationships.
But during a Friday sentencing hearing, McAuliffe’s attorney, Richard D. Collins, stressed his client’s genuine remorse, telling the court that McAuliffe has spent the last year reflecting on the decisions that led him to the Capitol on January 6, according to WUSA.
According to his lawyer, McAuliffe is focusing on rekindling his relationship with his wife, who filed for separation after the siege, and rebuilding trust with his former clients, the outlet reported.
“Judge, this is ultimately a story of redemption,” Collins said.
In the end, US District Judge Royce Lamberth was seemingly persuaded, rejecting federal prosecutors’ request for a split sentence of 14 days in prison and three years of probation, and sentencing McAuliffe to 60 days of home detention and three years of probation. The sentence also comes with social media restrictions for McAuliffe during that time period, and he will have to pay $500 in restitution for damages to the Capitol building.
Prosecutors say McAuliffe posted photos and comments from the Capitol on January 6. In a Facebook comment, McAuliffe admitted to being in a lawmaker’s office during the siege, saying “yeah I was in one of the offices. Some people were smoking a joint in the room, lol,” according to charging documents.
McAuliffe’s Facebook posts prompted multiple people to contact the FBI and identify him as a participant in the riot, prosecutors said. McAuliffe deleted his Facebook account following the attack, according to court records.
In court on Friday, McAuliffe’s attorney said his client could still face a challenge to his New York CPA license because of the federal misdemeanor, according to WUSA.
After handing down the sentence, Lamberth warned McAuliffe to stay out of trouble, telling him that probation “only comes once in a lifetime,” the outlet reported.
An attorney for McAuliffe told Insider that the events of January 6 will “forever stain our country.”
“The courts are meting out justice on those involved commensurate with their individual culpability,” Collins said. “That was done today with respect to Mr. McAuliffe, whose deep remorse is sincere.”
“Beyond that, it’s my fervent hope that our nation moves forward toward healing,” he added.