by Alex Lloyd Gross
Federal judges are not buying into defendants claims and pleas of “The building was open,” or ” ” I was only in there a few minutes.”. Most are getting sentenced to some time in jail. Leonard Ridge, of Trevose who was 19 when he stormed the US Capitol almost a year ago did not assault police and he did not steal anything. He did enter the US Capitol building, he did post selfies and he did post videos of him having a good time doing it to social media. That was enough for Federal Judge James Boasberg to give him 14 days in a federal lockup to think about what he did do. Trevose is just north of Philadelphia, in Bucks County PA.
His Snap chat videos and text messages to friends claiming “I just made history” and screaming at other rioters to “Get in this bitch” as he was entering the building did not sit well with the judge. Ridge, through his lawyers asked for probation. Prosecutors wanted him to do 45 days in jail. The 14 day sentence was a compromise. Ridge was in DC becuase he thought the election was stolen from then President Donald Trump. It was a conspiracy and voter fraud was rampant, with corrupt democrats pushing Joe Biden into the presidency, with deceit, and people casting multiple votes. Those claims were made by right wind republicans and have been proven to be false. Ridge was one of many that bought into those claims, and went to Washington to overturn the election.
“What is exceedingly concerning to me is your statement before January 6,” Boasberg said, referring to Ridge’s text that the certification needed to be stopped. Boasberg said that it is “conceivably” possible that some of those who breached the Capitol on Jan. 6 were “swept up by the crowd or by the moment,” or were “curious” and wanted to see what was going on.
“I doubt there were many of those people, but that’s conceivably true for some,” Boasberg said. “But it’s not true for you, given your previous statements, so you can imagine why that’s particularly concerning to me.” The judge continued, “But what you weren’t saying afterwards was ‘This really got out of hand, I have no idea why I went in there, this was a terrible thing,’” Boasberg said. “You were saying the opposite. So given your intent and your actions in the Capitol, I believe that some jail time is appropriate here.”
He entered a guilty plea in October of 2021 to the charge of entering and remaining in a restricted area. He also must pay a $1000 fine and will start doing his prison sentence on March 4, 2022.