The Florida woman who attacked Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz with a drink-filled cup has been sentenced to 15 days in jail.
Amanda Kondrat’yev, who pleaded guilty in August to assault on a member of Congress, was sentenced Monday to 15 days in federal prison following the incident in June when she threw a cup filled with a red liquid at the congressman who was leaving an event in Pensacola, Florida.
The 35-year-old, who must also pay a $500 fine and serve one year of supervised probation, was facing a year in prison but Judge Hope Cannon ordered the shorter sentence due to the activist’s lack of a criminal record, stating that “this was aberrant behavior on Ms. Kondrat’yev’s part,” according to the Pensacola News Journal.
The judge noted, however, that “the fact that there was no bodily injury or harm does not make this crime count any less.”
“While we were asking for no jail time, we are glad the judge went below the guidelines,” Eric Stevenson, the attorney representing the mother of two, said.
Kondrat’yev, a Democrat who briefly ran against Gaetz in the 2016 election, posted a message of thanks to her supporters who helped her through “SlushieGate” following the court appearance.
Gaetz, who was present at the sentencing, had asked that Kondrat’yev be given prison time instead of probation, citing the safety of his supporters and himself.
“Constituents deserve to be safe at events hosted by our congressional office,” the congressman wrote in a victim impact statement before Kondrat’yev was sentenced. “My staff deserves to be safe. Their families and mine shouldn’t have to worry that while federal officials are doing their jobs, we are at risk of assault.”
“My supporters are just as passionate as all my opponents,” Gaetz added.
“They have the capability to be violent, too. My efforts to ensure ALL participants remain nonviolent are undermined greatly by the Defendant’s actions,” he wrote. “Only incarceration allows me to reinforce to my supporters and opponents alike that Free Speech is welcomed – but assault will not be tolerated.”
“If the defendant is not subject to some incarceration, then word will be out that a first assault is functionally ‘free,’” he concluded. “This will make my events, my staff and my constituents less safe.”
Kondrat’yev was arrested after tossing a drink at the Florida Republican as he was leaving the Brew Ha Ha Restaurant & Bar in June. She was one of several protesters who had gathered outside the restaurant where the lawmaker was holding a town hall. Video captured the moment the clear cup filled with a red liquid was hurled at Gaetz who vowed he would press charges.
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