WASHINGTON — Editor's note: The above video first aired Jan. 13, 2022.
A North Carolina man who pleaded guilty to taking part in the 2021 riot at the U.S. Capitol will spend seven weekends in jail after sentencing Thursday.
Anthony Scirica, originally of Winston-Salem, pleaded guilty last fall to the felony misdemeanor of parading, demonstrating, and picketing inside the capitol building, forcing lawmakers in the process of the Electoral College vote count. Judge Christopher C. Cooper sentenced Scirica on Jan. 20 to 15 days in jail over the course of seven intermittent weekends. Scirica was granted credit for time served already, as he had already spent one day in jail.
Scirica was also ordered to pay a $500 fine and $500 in restitution. The charge he was sentenced on carried a maximum six-month prison term and a fine of up to $5,000.
Hundreds of Americans have been charged for their alleged involvement in the Jan. 6, 2021 riot. A fraction of the people charged have been sentenced. Of those sentenced by federal judges, few have been sentenced to jail time.
In the 24-page sentencing recommendation from federal prosecutors, Scirica's actions on Jan. 6 were outlined in detail. Prosecutors called for a harsher penalty based on these three reasons:
- Scirica "did not merely follow others once inside the Capitol Building, he led rioters through Statuary Hall in the direction of the House Chamber"
- Scirica observed violence as rioters pushed against police officers
- Scirica remained inside the Capitol while alarms went off and he observed further violence
- Scirica showed no remorse for his conduct
During an interview with an FBI agent after the attack, prosecutors said Scirica was asked if looking back at the incident, he wished he had remained outside the Capitol.
"Scirica responded in a flat tone, 'I don't know. I'm not really sure. It might make a good story in like 50 years when I am a grandfather.'"
Prosecutors wrote Scirica's "brazen conduct merits a short term of incarceration."
In the sentencing recommendation, federal prosecutors submitted cell phone video, surveillance still images, and other pictures showing Scirica's conduct.