A judge just spared a Capitol rioter jail time by noting she 'showed up in a tutu, not — as many did — in military gear'

Rasha pose
Rasha Abual-Ragheb was sentenced to two months of home detention for her participation in the January 6 attack on the Capitol.US attorney's office in Washington, DC
  • A federal judge noted Tuesday that a Capitol rioter "showed up in a tutu" on January 6.

  • The comment echoed a defense the Capitol rioter's lawyer made in asking for a non-prison sentence.

  • Judge Carl Nichols rejected prosecutors' request for prison time with a home detention sentence.

On January 6, Rasha Abual-Ragheb came to the Capitol with a track record of putting her speech in violent terms.

But if she came rearing for a clash at the seat of American democracy, she wasn't dressed for it — at least according to her defense lawyer and a federal judge.

On Tuesday, Judge Carl Nichols noted that Abual-Ragheb "showed up in a tutu, not — as many did — in military gear" as he sentenced her to two months of home detention for her role in the January 6 attack on the Capitol.

Abual-Ragheb's ultimate sentence ended up being lighter than the month-long prison term prosecutors had recommended. In the buildup to the hearing, the Justice Department highlighted social media posts in which she encouraged others to bring firearms to Washington, DC, and predicted that "Civil War is coming."

Nichols' remark alluded to the sartorial defense that Abual-Ragheb's defense lawyer, Elita Amato, made earlier in the virtual sentencing hearing and in court papers.

"It's clear that she never intended to participate in a civil war at the Capital because she did not show up wearing a tactical vest, gas mask, ballistic helmet, body armor, radio equipment, military style backpack, shield, or pitchfork or any of the other battle type armament," Amato wrote in a court filing earlier this month.

Nichols on Tuesday said he was troubled by her social media posts but found her "relatively mild in comparison to others" who stormed the Capitol.

In addition to the home detention, Abual-Ragheb's sentence includes three years of probation and a $500 fine.

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