Simone Gold pleads guilty to misdemeanour charges of unlawfully entering a restricted area
Simone Gold was also ordered to pay a fine of $9,500, the largest imposed to date on rioters found guilty of charges relating to the attack on the US Capitol.
A former emergency room physician known for spreading previously debunked claims about Covid-19 vaccine and promoting disproven treatments like ivermectin, Gold had pleaded guilty in March to a misdemeanour charge of unlawfully entering a restricted area of US Capitol.
Gold told the court that she regreted entering the Capitol and didn’t intend to get involved in an event that was “so destructive to our nation”.
“It’s the opposite of who I am,” she told US district judge Christopher Cooper.
The Beverly Hills-based doctor is also a founder of America’s Frontline Doctors, a group known for purveying Covid-19 misinformation. The judge, Contudo, clarified that her prosecution is not about her anti-vaccine activism, as he slammed it for fundraising efforts calling 6 January “political persecution”.
“It ain’t about free speech,” said judge Cooper, lashing out at her organisation for giving the “misimpression that this is a political prosecution” and using it to raise $430,000.
“January 6 was about a lot of things, but it wasn’t about free speech or Covid vaccinations… the only reason you are here is where and when and how you chose to express your views.”
“I find it unseemly that your organization is raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for its operations, including your salary," ele disse, asserting that she was generating the money “by mischaracterising” the proceedings. “People need to know this is not acceptable.”
The court also observed that Gold failed to show remorse in the aftermath of the riot as he noted her interview with the Washington Post where she claimed she did not witness any violence or think, she was breaking any laws.
“I can certainly speak to the place that I was, and it most emphatically was not a riot,” she had told the outlet after the insurrection. “Where I was, was incredibly peaceful.”
But according to the prosecutors, she entered the Capitol immediately after a law enforcement officer was assaulted and dragged to the ground in front of her.
Ela, Contudo, told the judge that she was “shocked” that prosecutors did not believe that she was remorseful, adding she was “misguided”.
“I should not have entered… Everything I did on January 6, misguided or not, was consistent with my effort to do my best for people.”
While a person can receive imprisonment of up to one year under misdemeanour charges, the prosecutors recommended 90 days of imprisonment, one year of supervised release and 60 hours of community service for her.
Gold’s attorney Dickson J Young asked for a sentence of community medical service, arguing that she did not incite violence.
Mais que 800 people have been charged with federal crimes relating to the Capitol insurrection with over 300 pleading guilty, mostly to misdemeanours and nearly 200 have been sentenced.
Additional reporting from the wires