Rabbi accused of Capitol riots wants to pay $ 50 to avoid jail

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A messianic rabbi who is among the hundreds accused in Capitol riots he argued that he should be allowed to pay a fine of $ 50 (£ 36) and not be sent to prison.

Rabbi Michael Stepakoff, who took a selfie dressed MAGA the Capitol in the Capitol building on the day of the riots, he argued through his lawyer before the conviction next week, Business Insider reports.

Mr Stepakoff’s lawyer, Marina Medvin, argued in a court application accusing the Justice Ministry of creating “public humiliation” websites for riot defendants.

It is a “modern version of tar and feathers,” the lawyer wrote.

The Ministry of Justice accused the rabbi of entering and staying and carrying out disorderly and disruptive behavior in a closed building.

He is also accused of violent entry and disorderly conduct, as well as parades, demonstrations or pickets in the Capitol building.

Ms Medvin told the court that Mr Stepakoff “should leave with a dismissal and seizure of $ 50 after his arrest.”

She cited a case from 2018 in which, according to several reports, a woman was arrested for protesting against the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

The case against the woman was dismissed after she paid a $ 50 fine, Ms. Medvin wrote in her claim.

Mr Stepakoff, however, was “punished for a period of one year with controlled release and prosecution, and then convicted under federal law – albeit for a trifle,” Ms. Medvin claimed, Business Insider reported.

Michael Stepakoff shared his photos on Facebook of the riots at the Capitol on January 6, as seen in this screenshot posted by federal investigators.

(US Attorney’s Office)

She said the most important difference between the two cases is politics.

“Mr Stepakoff has entered among a crowd of Trump supporters,” she said as Kavanaugh protester entered with a progressive women’s group.

According to a defense attorney, Mr Stepakoff has already paid a fine of $ 500 (£ 364) in “good faith” to help cover the cost of repairing the damaged Capitol building.

A fine was imposed on several low-riot defendants.

Ms Medvin said Mr Stepakoff paid the amount even though he “did not commit any destruction or direct property damage”.

Mr Stepakoff, who also works as a youth sports coach in the Tampa Bay area, will be sentenced on January 20, exactly one year after the president. Joe Biden took the inauguration oath.

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