Jan. 6 rioter who assaulted Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick sentenced to over 6 years in jail

A man who assaulted United States Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick with pepper spray on January 6, 2021, was sentenced on Friday to 80 months behind bars.

Julian Khater pleaded guilty in September to two counts of assaulting, resisting or impeding officers with a dangerous weapon. His co-defendant, George Tanios, pleaded guilty last summer to disorderly conduct and entering and remaining in a restricted building. Khater was also ordered to pay a $10,000 fine and $2,000 in restitution.

Tanios was sentenced to time served and one year of supervised release. He previously spent more than five months behind bars.

The day after the attack, Sicknick died after suffering several strokes. Washington, DC’s chief medical examiner, Francisco Diaz, determined that the officer died of natural causes and told The Washington Post that the riot and “all that transpired played a role in his condition.”

Sicknick’s family and partner were present for the sentencing and law enforcement officers dressed in uniform filled the courtroom.

One of those officers, Caroline Edwards, gave a witness impact statement before DC District Judge Thomas Hogan during the sentencing hearing.

“I felt like the absolute worst kind of officer, someone who didn’t help – couldn’t help – their friend,” she said of not being able to help Sicknick after being sprayed herself seconds later by Khater. “Sometimes when I close my eyes I can still see his face, white as a sheet.”

Hogan called Khater’s actions that day “inexcusable,” adding that “three officers (who) were doing their duty … are suddenly sprayed directly in the face.”

“I’m not going to give a lecture on the riot,” Hogan said, adding that “every time you see the video you’re shocked over again” and that “something has come out of this country that is very, very serious.”

Khater’s defense attorney said that Hogan should not sentence his client for the death of Sicknick, which the attorney noted was determined to be of natural causes. The judge agreed, noting he “can’t sentence Mr. Khater (for) causing officer Sicknick’s death.”

Calling his client “sheepish” and “sweet and gentle,” Khater’s attorney said his actions that day amounted to seconds of “emotionally charged conduct” from a man who suffered from anxiety.

In his statement to the judge, Khater began by highlighting how long he had already served behind bars and how it had “taken a huge toll” on him. “I wish I could take it all back,” he said. “It’s not who I am.”

Hogan pressed Khater on why he did not expressly apologize to the officers in the courtroom and Sicknick’s family. “Somewhere along the lines we lost the sense of responsibility,” the judge said.

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