A New York man pleaded guilty Wednesday to felony charges related to the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot more than a year after he dressed up like a caveman and joined the mob that stormed the building, prosecutors say.
Aaron Mostofsky, 35, had been charged with a felony and misdemeanors for his part in the riot: stealing a U.S. Capitol Police officer’s bulletproof vest and wearing it while he was in the building, where he also picked up an abandoned police shield, according to the Justice Department.
He is the son of Steven Mostofsky, a Brooklyn judge elected as a Democrat in 2012. The former family lawyer specializes in “mental hygiene,” or maintaining good mental health.
Aaron Mostofsky, who had no prior criminal convictions, is expected to be sentenced on May 6. He faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine on the felony count alone, while the misdemeanors potentially carry more prison time and fines of up to $100,000 each.
His plea agreement, however, estimates he will likely receive a sentence of 12 to 18 months and be fined not more than $55,000.
The defendant’s older brother, Neil, was also at then-President Donald Trump’s rally the day of the riot but stayed outside. A federal judge released the younger brother to the care of the elder when the family posted $100,000 bail, according to Law & Crime.
Mostofsky was reportedly one of the first people to enter the Capitol by way of a door on the Senate side and had joined a crowd that chased a U.S. Capitol Police officer up a staircase. (Although the officer is unnamed, a HuffPost reporter documented rioters’ confrontation with officer Eugene Goodman on a staircase as he tried to lead the pack away from the Senate chamber.)
Before leaving the building, Mostofsky gave an interview to a New York Post reporter around 2:30 p.m., the Justice Department said.
“My opinion as a free American ― my belief ― is that the election was stolen. We were cheated,” he told the reporter, adding that he thought Trump received millions more votes than were counted in the official tally.
Asked about the riot shield, Mostofsky said he “found it on the floor.”