- Ayres was sentenced to two years’ probation for entering the Capitol with the mob Jan. 6, 2021.
- Ayres testified at the House committee investigating the attack.
- Ayres shook hands wtih Capitol Police Sgt. Aguilino Gonell after testifying and apologized.
WASHINGTON – A rioter from the Capitol attack on Jan. 6, 2021, who testified at a televised hearing of the House committee investigating the attack received a probationary sentence for his role.
Stephen Ayres pleaded guilty June 8 to disorderly and disruptive conduct in restricted grounds.
U.S. District Judge John Bates sentenced Ayres on Thursday to two years’ probation and ordered him to pay $500 in restitution for damage to the Capitol.
Ayres admitted driving from Ohio to attend former President Donald Trump’s rally near the White House. Then he marched to the Capitol, joined the mob outside the Senate wing doors, entered about 2:51 p.m. and remained inside about 10 minutes, according to court records.
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Ayres had previously posted on Facebook about the purpose of his trip, noting that Trump had invited protesters to Washington for a “wild” protest.
“Mainstream media, social media, Democrat party, FISA courts, Chief Justice John Roberts, Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, etc….all have committed TREASON against a sitting U.S. president! !!” Ayres posted on Facebook on Jan. 3, 2021. “All are now put on notice by ‘We The People!”‘
Ayres was one of two rioters who testified July 12 before the House Jan. 6 committee. He testified that participating in the riot cost him his job and “changed my life and not for the good.” He shook hands and apologized to Capitol Police Sgt. Aquilino Gonell, who had to leave policing because of his injuries during the attack.
Ayres testified he was “pretty hardcore” consuming false social media posts about the election being stolen and thought Trump would join protesters at the Capitol. But he testified he no longer believes the falsehoods and learning that Trump had no evidence of fraud “makes me mad, I was hanging onto every word he said.”
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At his sentencing, Ayres apologized again.
“Now that I have been sentenced, I want to again say that it was wrong for me to be inside the Capitol and that I am sorry,” Ayres said. “I’m not ashamed for going to the rally or protesting, but I should not have gone inside that building and become part of a mob that terrorized police officers who were just doing their job.”