DAYTON — Federal prosecutors say a motion for dismissal by attorneys for Thomas DiMassimo claims that he didn’t understand that a ticket to a Donald Trump rally “did not also provide him access to the cordoned off and heavily guarded speakers platform.”
Prosecutors say “this defendant had ample knowledge — both generally and specifically — concerning the impropriety of his conduct.”
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DiMassimo, 22, is the Wright State University acting major facing a federal misdemeanor for jumping a barrier and rushing the stage at a Trump rally March 12 at Dayton International Airport.
In a footnote in his response, assistant U.S. attorney Brent Tabacchi wrote, “Mr. DiMassimo’s argument is akin to professing ignorance that a general admission ticket to a Bruce Springsteen concert does not also provide the attendee with right to storm the stage and to demand to play with the E Street Band.”
DiMassimo was charged with illegally entering a “cordoned off and otherwise restricted area where a person protected by the Secret Service was temporarily visiting.” The maximum sentence is a year in prison.
Defense attorney Jon Paul Rion filed the motion to dismiss the case June 16.
In the 17-page response filed in Dayton’s U.S. District Court, prosecutors admit that the terms used in the statute addressing the allegation are vague.
But they argue that “a person of reasonable intelligence on notice concerning the conduct that the statute proscribes — knowingly without permission (as opposed to accidentally or with authority) entering an area around a Secret Service protectee that law enforcement has sealed off for the protectee’s safety.”
Tabacchi further wrote that before the rally, DiMassimo posted statements on social media indicating a tacit understanding that efforts to rush the speaker’s platform would result in his arrest.
“While generically claiming that his prosecution was motivated by his purported political affiliations, he failed to articulate even when those affiliations are,” Tabacchi wrote. “Mr. DiMassimo has presented no evidence — let alone competent evidence — demonstrating any discriminatory effect.”
On Wednesday, U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Sharon Ovington added to DiMassimo’s bond conditions. Namely, she said he is permitted to attend school and meet with his attorneys, both in cases where he received prior approval from pretrial services.
DiMassimo’s trial is scheduled for Aug. 29.
Ovington instructed both sides not to comment about the case to media members until it is resolved.
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