Pennsylvania Woman Sentenced for Felony and Misdemeanor Charges Related to Capitol Breach
Defendant Illegally Entered Capitol, Pushed Against Officers, Remained Inside for About 70 Minutes
WASHINGTON – A Pennsylvania woman was sentenced in the District of Columbia today on felony and misdemeanor charges for her actions during the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol breach. 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 presidential election.
Riley June Williams, 23, of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, was sentenced to 36 months in prison for interfering with law enforcement officers during a civil disorder, and resisting or impeding law enforcement officers, both felonies, as well as four related misdemeanor offenses. Williams was found guilty of the charges on November 21, 2022 after a trial in the U.S. District Court. In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Court Judge Amy B. Jackson ordered 36 months of supervised release and $2,000 restitution.
According to the government’s evidence, on Jan. 6, 2021, Williams used an overturned bike rack barricade to climb an exterior wall and join the mob of rioters illegally on the Capitol grounds. Police use of chemical irritants to disperse the mob did not deter her. She entered the Capitol Building at approximately 2:15 p.m. through the Senate Wing Door, just two minutes after it was first breached, and urged other rioters not to leave. She remained inside for about 90 minutes, during which time she penetrated the Crypt, Rotunda, and Office of the Speaker of the House. While inside the building, Williams pushed other rioters to invade further, organized groups of them into a human battering ram to physically break through police lines, berated the police officers, directed a large group of rioters to lock arms to resist law enforcement efforts to clear them from the building, and encouraged another rioter to steal a laptop from the Speaker of the House’s office. Specifically, video captured Williams commanding another rioter to “Take that f-----g laptop” and told him “Dude, put on gloves!” so as to avoid being identified. Williams took video, audio, and photo recordings of her activities, which she proudly shared on social media, bragging about her leadership role in the riot and participation in thefts from the Office of the Speaker.
Williams was arrested on Jan. 18, 2021, in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. In the 12 days between the riot and her arrest, Williams repeatedly destroyed evidence and tried to evade law enforcement officials: she deleted her social media and communication accounts, instructed others to delete messages and take down videos from the internet, reset her iPhone, switched cellular phones, and used advanced software to wipe her computer.
The case was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia. Valuable assistance was provided by U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania and the Middle District of Florida.
The case was investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Office and the Capital Area Resident Agency of the FBI’s Philadelphia Field Office. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police Department.
In the 26 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 1,000 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including more than 320 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement. The investigation remains ongoing.
Anyone with tips can call 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or visit tips.fbi.gov.