Under the category of “it takes one to know one,” a Trump supporter who is accused of storming the U.S. Capitol during the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection and yelling that police officers were “protecting pedophiles” served jail time after being convicted of the statutory rape of a 14-year-old girl.
Federal prosecutors allege that Sean McHugh of Auburn, Calif., fought with police attempting to defend the Capitol and was recorded on body cameras heckling police. Prosecutors described McHugh as using a megaphone to shout at officers, “You guys like protecting pedophiles? You’re protecting communists. I’d be shaking in your little s**t boots too. There’s a Second Amendment behind us, what are you going to do then?” It’s possible that the pedophile reference is an indication the man subscribes to the baseless QAnon conspiracy theory.
According to California court records reviewed by CNN, the alleged rioter was convicted in 2010 on a state charge of having unlawful sex with a minor. McHugh was sentenced to 240 days in jail, although he served even less than that, and four years of probation. Former prosecutor Todd Kuhnen told CNN that DNA evidence linked McHugh to the girl. At the time he committed the crime McHugh was 23 and the girl was only 14.
McHugh is charged with eight federal crimes, including trespassing charges and more serious counts of obstructing congressional proceedings and assaulting police officers with a dangerous weapon. Prosecutors say that McHugh incited others rioters outside the Capitol and then allegedly grabbed a large metal Trump sign and urged the mob to assault officers with it. He also allegedly deployed an unknown chemical spray against police.
He has remained behind bars since his May 27 arrest. A federal judge in the Eastern District of California ruled Tuesday that he poses an ongoing threat to the public and should remain locked up until his trial.