Former U.S. Olympic swimmer Klete Keller has been sentenced to six months of home detention and 36 months of probation for being at the U.S. Capitol during the January 6 protest.
The five-time Olympic medalist wore his Team USA jacket inside the Capitol Rotunda and threw it in the trash later that day.
Keller had been indicted on seven federal counts but accepted a plea deal in which he pleaded guilty to one count of obstructing an official proceeding. This felony carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
On Jan. 6, Keller attended then-President Donald Trump’s “Stop the Steal” rally near the White House with a friend before marching with a crowd to the Capitol. He entered the building through an open door on the Upper West Terrace and remained inside for nearly an hour.
Keller came within 50 feet of the Senate chamber, which lawmakers evacuated as the mob swarmed the building. Police officers had to forcibly remove Keller and other rioters from the Capitol through the East Rotunda lobby.
Prosecutors were seeking ten months in prison, arguing in a sentencing memorandum that his actions were “unconscionable” and “will forever be a stain on this country’s narrative,” according to a report from ABC News. They argued that granting him probation would “send a message to the public you can do this and not get punished.”
“However, given his extensive cooperation with the government since turning himself in and his ‘genuine’ remorse for his conduct, they pushed for the judge to give him a far lighter prison sentence,” the report states.
ABC reports that Judge Richard Leon said this wasn’t a “one size fits all case” and there was “no question that [Keller] was remorseful.”
“If there was ever a case for probation, this is it,” Judge Leon said.
The judge told the Olympian that he hoped he will speak to young adults about “how he learned from his mistakes.”
“I expect you to succeed,” the judge said.
Keller replied, “Thank you, your honor, I will not let you down.”
In a letter to the judge written in January, Keller said, “As a former member of the United States Olympic Swimming Team, my behavior set a terrible example for young people who looked up to me. I take full responsibility for my inexcusable actions. I will accept my punishment with humility and serve my sentence in peace.”
Politico reports, “After the Capitol riot, he lost a job and regular visitation with his children. Last year, he signed the paperwork for his children to be adopted by their stepfather.”
Over 1,200 people have been charged for being at the Capitol that day.