A real estate agent from suburban Dallas who flaunted her participation in the January 6 US Capitol riot on social media and later bragged she wasn't going to jail because she is white, has blonde hair and a good job has been sentenced to two months behind bars.
While some rioters sentenced for the same misdemeanour conviction have received only probation or home confinement, prosecutors sought incarceration for Jennifer Leigh Ryan of Frisco, Texas, saying she has shown a lack of candour and remorse for her actions when the pro-Trump mob attacked the Capitol building and delayed Congress' certification of Joe Biden's Electoral College victory.
They also said Ryan's belief that she was shielded from punishment showed she doesn't grasp the seriousness of her crime.
Ryan wasn't facing a felony for more serious conduct, but US District Judge Christopher Cooper on Thursday said she was still among the mob who outnumbered police in an attack that led to the deaths of five people and will have a lasting effect on government institutions.
Though Ryan said she was sorry for her actions, Cooper questioned whether she is remorseful and has respect for the law.
"Your actions since January 6 make me doubt some of those things," the judge said.
Prosecutors said Ryan travelled to Washington on a jet chartered by a Facebook friend, described Trump's rally before the riot as a prelude to war, livestreamed her entry into the building as alarms sounded, participated in chants of "Fight For Trump," tweeted a photo of herself next to broken windows outside the Capitol and later said she deserved a medal for what she did.
Her lawyer responded that she was in the building for only two minutes, didn't act violently and has a First Amendment right to speak up on social media.
The judge then referred to Ryan's March 26 tweet in which she wrote, "Definitely not going to jail. Sorry I have blonde hair white skin a great job a great future and I'm not going to jail. Sorry to rain on your hater parade. I did nothing wrong."
In a letter to the judge, Ryan denied believing she was immune to punishment, saying she was responding to people who made fun of her appearance and called for her to be imprisoned. She said her lawyer told her at the time that prosecutors would be recommending a sentence of probation.
"I was attacked and I was answering them," Ryan said in court.
Prosecutors said Ryan has since downplayed the violence at the Capitol and falsely claimed to probation authorities that she didn't know there was a riot until she came to the Capitol, even though she had recorded herself in a hotel room watching news coverage of rioters climbing the walls of the Capitol.
After the riot, Ryan said she faced a backlash that included death threats, public heckling and graffiti painted on her real estate signs. She said she had to change her name and disguise herself in public.
Ryan tweeted a photo of herself next to broken windows and holding her fingers in a V sign, with a caption saying, "Window at The capital. And if the news doesn't stop lying about us we're going to come after their studios next".
She is the tenth person charged in the January 6 attack to receive a jail or prison sentence.
More than 650 people have been charged for their actions at the Capitol.