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Robert Gieswein, left, as pictured on Jan. 6, 2021, during the U.S. Capitol riot. Gieswein has been charged with six counts related to the riot, according to federal court documents. (Screenshot)

A Woodland Park man, who pleaded guilty to assaulting a Capitol police officer during the Jan. 6 riots, was sentenced Friday to four years in prison.

Robert Gieswein, 26, will be required to serve three years of supervised release after his prison sentence and pay $2,000 in restitution, according to federal court documents. 

Gieswein is the latest Coloradan to be sentenced for his involvement in the 2021 Capitol breach. More than a dozen people from Colorado were charged with crimes in the Jan. 6 attacks.

Last month, a leader for the Oath Keepers, a far-right extremist group, was sentenced to 18 years in prison. The sentence for Stewart Rhodes was the longest so far in the federal investigation.

Gieswein faced four criminal charges, including assaulting, resisting or impeding certain officers using a dangerous weapon. He was accused of encouraging other rioters to break into the Capitol through a broken window, intimidating and assaulting Capitol police officers with a baseball bat and spraying aerosol from a black canister toward officers. Investigators said he was part of the Three Percenters, an extremist far-right militia group.

In March, Gieswein pleaded guilty to two counts of assaulting, resisting or impeding certain officers. Each assault charge carries a statutory maximum sentence of eight years in prison, in addition to financial penalties, according to the U.S. District Attorney’s Office.

A judge sentenced him to four years of prison and three years of supervised release for each count, which he can serve concurrently, according to court documents. 

Prosecutors say Gieswein allegedly borrowed a baseball bat from another rioter after he heard people in the crowd talking about potential violent counterprotesters planning to attack Donald Trump supporters, such as himself. He said he wore a protective, military-style vest because he knew rallies for the former president could become violent. 

“Admittedly caught up in the emotions and energy of the moment and falling prey to mob mentality, Robert stopped thinking rationally and accepted a can of pepper spray by an unknown protestor,” court documents stated. “Then, acting completely contrary to the character he displayed throughout his entire life up until this moment, Robert joined the large mob, and took aggressive actions toward some members of the police.”

Gieswein turned himself in at the Teller County jail Jan. 18, 2021, and has been in jail since. 

In a memorandum filed in U.S. District Court last week, Gieswein’s attorneys wrote that he “lives with great regret for his actions and has accepted full responsibility for the crimes he committed on January 6, 2021.” 


In a handwritten letter, Gieswein said he had not planned to go to the Capitol or break the law on Jan. 6 after traveling from Woodland Park to D.C. to attend a rally for Trump. 

“I was very emotional and I was not behaving appropriately,” he wrote. “It was not my intention to hurt the police. I was mad and wanted them out of the way.”

His attorneys asked the judge to consider a time-served sentence followed by a period of supervised release. 

The request was accompanied by letters from Gieswein’s mother and three friends, one of whom called him “one of the most empathetic people I’ve ever met.”

“I made mistakes and I cannot explain why. I can say I am sorry and I am paying for it,” Gieswein wrote to the judge. “I am so ready to get back to my mom and sister to care for them.”

Olivia Prentzel covers breaking news and a wide range of other important issues impacting Coloradans for The Colorado Sun, where she has been a staff writer since 2021. At The Sun, she has covered wildfires, criminal justice, the environment,...