South Jersey man sentenced for his role in U.S. Capitol riot

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A South Jersey man will be incarcerated for 14 days for his role in the January 2021 U.S. Capitol riot.

But Marcos Panayiotou, 30, of Wrightstown can serve that term “intermittently,” or divided into smaller periods, a federal judge has ruled.

Panayiotou also received a three-year probationary term Tuesday from U.S. District Judge Dabney Friedrich in Washington, D.C.

The judge also ordered Panayiotou to pay a $1,500 fine and $500 in restitution.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Maria Fedor had requested a 45-day term of incarceration, along with three years of supervised release.

She noted Panayiotou, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran who now works as a swimming pool maintenance contractor, spent about 40 minutes inside the Capitol during the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection.

During that time, Panayiotou appeared to urge onlookers to enter the besieged building, Fedor said in a sentencing memorandum.

Assistant Public Defender Carol Dominguez sought no more than 30 days of home confinement or a three-year probationary term. She said Panayiotou had not engaged in violence or vandalism during the riot.

Panayiotou pleaded guilty in August to the misdemeanor offense of parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol building.

In prepared remarks, Panayiotou noted he had asked to appear in person in a Washington, D.C., courtroom, rather than at a virtual session.

“It all starts with showing up,” he said in a statement to be read at the hearing.

“When you mess up, you own up and you don’t do it via email or text or even a call, you show up and you face your person, and you apologize,” he continued.

In the statement, Panayiotou said he was “determined to turn this poor choice of judgment, a negative, into a positive and teaching moment for my legacy.”

“I cooperated with law enforcement, I owned up and I leave my fate in your hands,” Panayiotou's statement said.

“I also want you to know that this is not the sum of me, and I will never be before this court nor any other court for the rest of my life.”

Jim Walsh is a senior reporter with the Courier-Post, Burlington County Times and The Daily Journal.

This article originally appeared on Cherry Hill Courier-Post: Marcos Panayiotou sentenced for role in January 2021 U.S. Capitol riot