Brooklyn judge’s son pleads guilty to Capitol riot charges
WASHINGTON (AP) — A New York City judge’s son who referred to himself as a “caveman” eager to protest Donald Trump’s presidential election loss pleaded guilty Wednesday to charges he stormed the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection.
Aaron Mostofsky was seen inside the Capitol wearing a fur costume and a bulletproof police vest that he was accused of stealing during the mayhem. He also gave a video interview inside the building, telling the New York Post he was there “to express my opinion as a free American that this election was stolen.”
Mostofsky, 35, pleaded guilty to charges of civil disorder, theft of government property, and entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds.
Mostofsky is scheduled to be sentenced May 6. He faces 12 to 18 months in prison under federal sentencing guidelines, U.S. District Judge James Boasberg said. Mostofsky also agreed to pay $2,000 restitution.
Mostofsky’s father is Steven Mostofsky, a state court judge in Brooklyn. A message seeking comment was left with a court spokesperson.
Aaron Mostofsky’s unusual garb made him stand out from the crowd of camouflage-wearing, flag-waving rioters. At one point, he was photographed sitting on a bench near the Senate chamber holding a stick and the riot shield, which he said he picked up off the floor.
According to prosecutors, Mostofsky took a bus from New York to Washington and joined protesters in overwhelming a police line and storming the Capitol. Along the way, he picked up and put on the bulletproof vest, valued at $1,905, and the riot shield, worth $265, prosecutors said.
Before the protest, Mostofsky messaged another demonstrator that he could be found at the protest by looking for “a caveman,” adding, “Even a caveman knows it was stolen,” prosecutors said. Afterward, as his photo circulated, he said the image was unfortunate because “now people actually know me.”
More than 730 people have been charged with federal crimes related to the Capitol riot. More than 200 of them have pleaded guilty, mostly to misdemeanors punishable by a maximum of six months imprisonment. Mostofsky is one of about two dozen rioters to plead guilty to a felony. More than 90 riot defendants have been sentenced.