Texas woman sentenced to 60 days in prison for Capitol riots

Texas woman sentenced to 60 days in prison for Capitol riots
Jennifer Leigh Ryan, 51, was sentenced to 60 days in prison after tweeting that she was "definitely not going to jail" for her involvement in the Jan. 6 riots at the Capitol. File Photo by Ken Cedeno/UPI | License Photo

Nov. 4 (UPI) -- A Texas woman who entered the U.S. Capitol building during the Jan. 6 insurrection and later tweeted she would not go to jail was sentenced to about two months in prison Thursday.

Jennifer Leigh Ryan, a 51-year-old real estate broker from Frisco, Texas, was sentenced to 60 days in prison and charged a $1,000 fine as well as $500 in restitution to the architect of the Capitol, after pleading guilty to "parading demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol building."


Ryan surrendered days after the riots to federal investigators who also searched her home. She flew to the Capitol with a group of people in a private plane and documented their activities on social media.

Appearing in court on Thursday, Ryan said her actions at the Capitol did not reflect her character.

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"This is not anything that remotely resembles who I am," she said.

On the day of the riots, Ryan shared a video saying she and her group traveled to Washington, D.C., to "storm the capitol" and shared multiple Facebook live videos in which she could be seen entering the Capitol building through the Rotunda and walking throughout.


In a tweet following the insurrection, she described Jan. 6 as "one of the best days of my life."

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Ryan later said in a television interview that she believed she was following through on the wishes of former President Donald Trump.

"I feel like I was basically following my president," she said. "I was following what we were called to do. He asked us to fly there. He asked us to be there."

Ryan's PayPal account was closed in January after she tried to solicit donations to cover her legal fees and "business losses" during the FBI investigation and in March she tweeted that she was "definitely not going to jail."

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"Sorry, I have blonde hair, white skin, a great job, a great future and I'm not going to jail. Sorry to rain on your hater parade. I did nothing wrong," she wrote.

Judge Christopher Cooper noted that Ryan's case "has generated a fair amount of public interest" and emphasized she was prosecuted for her actions during the riots, not her political beliefs.

"People will be interested to know what sentence you get. That sentence will tell them something about how the courts and how our country responded," Cooper said. "And I think that the sentence should tell them that we take it seriously ... and that it should never happen again."


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Capitol Hill police salute the passing of the funeral hearse on Sunday for slain Officer Brian Sicknick, who died in the rioting at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. Photo by Mike Theiler/UPI | License Photo

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