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Jan. 6 rioter pleads to charges, says going in Capitol 'was worst decision of my life'

Sgt. Aquilino Gonell of the U.S. Capitol Police wipes away tears Tuesday as he testifies before members of the Select Committee investigating the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. Pool Photo by Jim Lo Scalzo/UPI | License Photo

Aug. 31 (UPI) -- A Chicago tech company executive who went inside the U.S. Capitol during the attack on Jan. 6 pleaded guilty in federal court on Tuesday, saying that his actions on that day resulted from the worst decision of his life.

Bradley Rukstales was president and CEO of Cogensia, a tech company in Schaumburg, Ill., when he entered the Capitol with hundreds of radical supporters of former President Donald Trump. He was ultimately charged with unlawfully parading, demonstrating and picketing inside the Capitol.

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Prosecutors said Rukstales entered the Capitol with a group of other rioters, refused orders to leave and threw a chair in the direction of police officers who were trying to secure the building. The rioters were at the Capitol to disrupt certification of Trump's electoral defeat last November.

With his plea Tuesday, Rukstales faces a maximum sentence of six months in federal prison and a $5,000 fine.

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Rukstales was initially arrested in Washington, D.C., in January and was later put on a leave of absence from his company. He was ultimately fired.

In court Tuesday, Rukstales apologized for his actions on Jan. 6.

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"Without qualification and as a peaceful and law-abiding citizen, I condemn the violence and destruction that took place," Rukstales said in a written statement, according to The Chicago Tribune.

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"It was the single worst personal decision of my life; I have no excuse for my actions and wish that I could take them back."

Cogensia CEO Joel Schiltz said at the time that Rukstales' actions were inconsistent with the company's principles.

Rukstales is scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 12.

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