WASHINGTON - A federal judge on Wednesday announced a prison sentence of 41 months for a New Jersey gym owner who assaulted a law enforcement officer during the riot at the U.S. Capitol — the first rioter sentenced for violence against police during the attack.
Prosecutors said Scott Fairlamb, who authorities said was one of the first rioters to breach the Capitol, incited and emboldened other rioters around him with his violent actions. Fairlamb pleaded guilty to two counts, obstruction of an official proceeding and assaulting the police officer.
Scott Fairlamb is pictured at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, as shown in court documents from the Department of Justice. (Credit: U.S Department of Justice)
"Law enforcement officers were overwhelmed, outnumbered, and in some cases, in serious danger. The rule of law was not only disrespected; it was under attack that day," prosecutors previously wrote in a court filing.
This sentence is slightly less than the 44 months prosecutors recommended earlier this month.
Still, Fairlamb's sentence is currently the longest for a rioter. Previously, an 8-month prison term was the longest sentence among the nearly two dozen rioters who have been sentenced so far. A man who posted threats connected to Jan. 6 but didn't storm the Capitol was sentenced to 14 months in prison.
Fairlamb's sentencing could guide other judges in deciding the appropriate punishment for dozens of other rioters who engaged in violence at the Capitol that day.
More than 100 law enforcement officers were injured during the deadly insurrection, according to prosecutors. At least nine people who were at the Capitol on Jan. 6 died during or after the rioting, including Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, who collapsed after he was sprayed by rioters with a chemical irritant. Four other police officers have died by suicide.
Fairlamb’s social media accounts indicated that he subscribed to the QAnon conspiracy theory and promoted a bogus claim that former President Donald Trump would become the first president of "the new Republic" on March 4, prosecutors wrote. QAnon has centered on the baseless belief that Trump was fighting against a cabal of Satan-worshipping, child sex trafficking cannibals, including "deep state" enemies, prominent Democrats and Hollywood elites.
This story was reported from Los Angeles. The Associated Press contributed.