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Press Release

Ohio Woman Found Guilty of Felony and Misdemeanor Charges Related to Jan. 6 Capitol Breach

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia

           WASHINGTON - An Ohio woman was found guilty in the District of Columbia on Friday, April 26, 2024, of felony and misdemeanor offenses related to her conduct during the Jan. 6, 2021, breach of the U.S. Capitol. Her actions and the actions of others disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress convened to ascertain and count the electoral votes related to the 2020 presidential election.

           A federal jury convicted Therese Borgerding, 61, of Piqua, Ohio, of a felony offense of civil disorder and misdemeanor offenses of entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds, disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds, disorderly conduct in a Capitol building, and parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol building.

           U.S. District Judge Timothy J. Kelly will sentence Borgerding on Aug. 15, 2024.

           According to evidence presented during the trial, Borgerding traveled from her home in Ohio to Washington, D.C., with her husband, and codefendant Walter Messer, and made their way to the U.S. Capitol building on Jan. 6, 2021. Borgerding and her husband arrived at the East Plaza at 7:00 a.m. when the crowd was sparse. Borgerding carried a long pole with a circular sign with a big red “Q” affixed to the top and a small American flag sticking out of it.

           After reaching the barricades on the East Front, Borgerding and her husband remained immediately outside the restricted perimeter for several hours. At about 1:59 p.m., a large crowd had gathered and overrun the barricades at the East Front. Borgerding then approached the nearest barricades, unhooked two interlocking barricades, and pushed them apart, parting the way for herself and other rioters to run towards the Capitol. Borgerding then stood on the East steps near the Rotunda Doors for several minutes, joining chants and waving her sign in the air.

           At approximately 2:41 p.m., police officers inside the Rotunda Doors attempted to shut the doors to the U.S. Capitol, which had previously been opened by rioters inside and outside the building; however, the officers were confronted by rioters outside who forced the doors back open and pushed their way into the building. Borgerding was in the immediate vicinity of this confrontation.

           Still holding her “Q” sign, Borgerding pushed her way through the Rotunda Doors and walked straight into the Rotunda, where she remained for approximately two minutes. She then joined the large crowd near the Senate Wing Doors and later exited through one of the smashed windows onto the Northwest Courtyard of the Capitol Building around 2:49 p.m. Borgerding remained in the Northwest Courtyard at length, chanting and waving her large sign.

           The FBI arrested Borgerding on Aug. 6, 2021, in Dayton, Ohio.

           Codefendant Walter Messer was previously sentenced on Sept. 11, 2023, to 24 months of probation for his role in the events of January 6th.

           The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the Department of Justice National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section are prosecuting this case. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Ohio provided valuable assistance.

           The FBI’s Cincinnati and Washington Field Office investigated this case. The United States Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police Department provided valuable assistance.

           In the 39 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 1,385 individuals have been charged in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including nearly 500 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement, a felony. The investigation remains ongoing.

           Anyone with tips can call 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or visit

Updated April 29, 2024

Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 24-367