The Wright State University student who jumped a barrier at a Donald Trump rally in Dayton pleaded guilty and was sentenced Tuesday to one year of probation.
Thomas DiMassimo, 22, also was ordered by U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Sharon Ovington to not attend any Republican presidential event, not to possess any firearm and that he must return a probation officer’s phone call within 72 hours.
“We’re very satisfied with the result in this case,” defense attorney Jon Paul Rion said. “It was really what we’ve been attempting to achieve this entire time — to treat it for what it is. It’s similar to a disorderly conduct, and so the sentence, I think, is similar to that as well.”
DiMassimo, an acting major, had been charged with a federal misdemeanor for illegally entering a “cordoned off and otherwise restricted area where a person protected by the Secret Service was temporarily visiting” when he jumped a barrier and rushed the stage March 12 during a Trump rally at Dayton International Airport.
“Now as much as ever, it’s crucial that people respect the political process,” said Benjamin Glassman, acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio. “That includes expressing support or opposition for candidates within the confines of laws that are designed to guarantee everyone’s safety. Today’s guilty plea and the magistrate judge’s carefully crafted sentence reflect that respect.”
DiMassimo’s trial had been scheduled for Aug. 29. The maximum penalties were one year in prison and a $100,000 fine.
DiMassimo, who was ordered to pay a $250 fine but got his electronic home detention ankle bracelet removed at Dayton’s U.S. District Court, said he was satisfied with the plea agreement.
“I consider this a win,” DiMassimo said of what he called non-violent civil disobedience. “In choosing to disobey something, you then have to accept the consequences and own up for your actions.
“While I think what I did had purpose and connects back to the type of work that we saw Dr. (Martin Luther) King leading during the Civil Rights movement, I’m totally understanding that the court has to eventually punish me.”
DiMassimo said not attending or protesting at any Trump event is a downside. He said he can still get his message out about what he called Trump’s “super racist” or “super violent or illegal” rants.
“I’m not going to say who I vote for. I highly suggest that people do not vote for Donald Trump,” DiMassimo said.
Ovington — who issued a gag order for attorneys not to discuss the case with the media — had warned DiMassimo not to go to Cleveland for last week’s Republican National Convention.
DiMassimo was put on electronic monitoring after violating the terms of his bond. Ovington chose not to revoke DiMassimo’s bond after an unexcused, 51-minute absence on July 11.
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