On Monday, a Pennsylvania woman was found guilty in the District of Columbia of felony and misdemeanor charges for her actions during the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol breach. Her actions and the actions of others disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress convened to ascertain and count the electoral votes related to the presidential election.
Riley June Williams, 23, of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, was found guilty after a trial in U.S. District Court of interfering with law enforcement officers during a civil disorder, and resisting or impeding law enforcement officers, both felonies, as well as four related misdemeanor offenses. The jury was unable to reach a verdict on two other charges, including obstruction of an official proceeding and aiding and abetting in the theft of government property.
According to the government’s evidence, on Jan. 6, 2021, Williams was among a mob of rioters illegally on the Capitol grounds. She entered the Capitol Building at approximately 2:15 p.m. through the Senate Wing Door and remained inside for about 70 minutes. While inside the building, Williams moved through areas including the Crypt, Rotunda, and the Office of the Speaker of the House. She directed other rioters, pushed against officers, and took video, audio, and photo recordings of her activities. She also threw a water bottle at police officers and called them traitors. While inside the Speaker’s Office, according to the government’s evidence, Williams encouraged other rioters to steal an office laptop, and took a video of the theft, telling one of them, “Dude, put on gloves!” and yelling, among other things, “Take that f—– laptop.”
Williams was arrested on Jan. 18, 2021, in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
Williams is to be sentenced on Feb. 22, 2023. In addition to the two felonies, Williams was found guilty of misdemeanor counts of entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds; disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds; disorderly conduct in a Capitol Building, and parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol Building.
The charge of interfering with law enforcement officers during a civil disorder carries a statutory maximum of five years in prison. The charge of resisting or impeding law enforcement officers carries a statutory maximum of eight years in prison. The four misdemeanor offenses carry a combined statutory maximum of three years of incarceration. All charges carry potential financial penalties. The Court will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia. Valuable assistance was provided by U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania and the Middle District of Florida.
The case was investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Office and the Capital Area Resident Agency of the FBI’s Philadelphia Field Office. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police Department.
In the 22 months since Jan. 6, 2021, nearly 900 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including over 275 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement. The investigation remains ongoing.
Anyone with tips can call 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or visit tips.fbi.gov.
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