A New Jersey gym owner who punched a police officer during the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol has been sentenced to more than three years in prison. Scott Fairlamb's sentencing on Wednesday to 41 months in prison is likely to become a benchmark for dozens of other Capitol rioters who engaged in violence.
Fairlamb was the first person to be sentenced for assaulting a law enforcement officer during the riot. His prison term is the longest among 32 riot-related sentences handed down so far. Federal prosecutors recommended a prison sentence of three years and eight months, NPR reports.
Fairlamb's punishment likely will guide other judges who sentence rioters who clashed with police at the Capitol. U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth said it was significant that his sentencing of Fairlamb was the first for assaulting an officer, with more guilty pleas likely in the coming months.
"Had you gone to trial, I don't think there's any jury that could have acquitted you or would have acquitted you," the judge said.
Fairlamb, a boxing coach and former mixed martial arts fighter, apologized and expressed remorse for actions that he described as irresponsible and reckless.
The officer wasn't injured but described Jan. 6 as the scariest day of his career, Assistant U.S. Attorney Leslie Goemaat told the judge.
Fairlamb pleaded guilty to obstruction of an official proceeding and assaulting the police officer.