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.
Woman who threw slushie on Matt Gaetz at Pensacola event sentenced to 15 days in prison pic.twitter.com/IHMM8URhDO
— Vihar Gadhesariya ⚕️ (@gvihark) November 20, 2019
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.
Thank you to everyone that helped me through this SlushieGate madness. Special thanks to Eric Stevenson of @StevensonKlotz, and to all my friends and family that were with me in person or in spirit.
15 days jail, 1 yr probation, $500 fine. Not ideal, but I will survive. pic.twitter.com/QAsGAMYzq0
— Amanda Kondrat’yev (@manderwall) November 19, 2019
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.
Unlike Eric Trump, Matt Gaetz says he has every intention of pressing charges against his attacker https://t.co/3AhdGBOBxQ
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) June 27, 2019
Kondrat’yev was reportedly holding a sign that said, “Gaetz – wipe the blood from your hands, A+ rating – NRA, save our kids vote Gaetz out in 2020.”
Gaetz told the court that probation, instead of prison, for the woman would lead “people (who are) willing to endure that consequence to show up wishing to cause harm to my supporters or me.”
“I come not for any vengeance or retribution, but for the safety of the constituents who attend our public events,” Gaetz told the court.
He told reporters later that he was pleased with the sentence, according to the Pensacola News Journal.
“We want to welcome everyone to our events, whether they support me or not,” he said.
“I am pleased with the court’s decision today to sentence Amanda Kondrat’yev to 15 days in jail and one year of probation,” he said in a statement Tuesday. “Physical assault has no place in our political discourse, and if individuals choose to engage in such activities at our events they will be prosecuted.”
“I am grateful law enforcement and our judicial system recognized this principle today, and I remain committed to maintaining a safe environment for my constituents at future events,” he added.