A lead organizer of Boston’s “Straight Pride Parade” is now facing a felony charge for his alleged participation in the mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, prosecutors announced.
Mark Sahady, 48, of Malden, was indicted by a federal grand jury this week for obstruction of an official proceeding, for allegedly disrupting a joint session of the U.S. Congress “convened to ascertain and count the electoral votes related to the presidential election,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the District of Columbia said.
He had previously been facing lesser charges of entering or remaining in a restricted building or grounds without lawful authority; disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds; disorderly conduct in a Capitol building; and parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building.
The indictment, filed Wednesday, carries the new felony charge, upping his potential prison time, if convicted, from six months to a year for each of the other criminal offenses, to up to 20 years for the new obstruction charge.
Sahady is alleged to have posted several messages on social media prior to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, calling for “millions of Americans” to “show up in DC on January 6 to support the legitimate president, Donald Trump, and show Democrats what they will be facing if they continue to try and steal the presidency,” according to court documents.
He further tweeted about transportation, in response to an inquiry, stating that seven buses were coming to take participants to the Capitol. Two days prior to the Jan. 6 breach, Sahady allegedly tweeted simply, “January 6 — Washington, DC — It begins,” according to court documents.
Sahady, identified as vice president of “Super Happy Fun America,” a group that allegedly purports to advocate for the “straight community” and gained notoriety for organizing the 2019 “Straight Pride Parade” in Boston, was also photographed among a group of protesters inside the Capitol building, court papers stated.
He was identified as the person in this photo after it was posted by private individuals and the media, and appeared on a number of public forums and social media accounts, including Twitter.
The identification was also reported by the MetroWest Daily News on Jan. 11, 2021, placing Sahady and another woman he was allegedly traveling with inside the Capitol building during the deadly riot, court documents stated.
The woman, Suzanne Ianni, is a former elected Town Meeting member from Natick, who pleaded guilty last September to storming the U.S. Capitol after organizing a bus trip to Washington, D.C. for herself, Sahady and fellow members of Super Happy Fun America, the Associated Press reported.
Sahady and Ianni were among those appearing in a photograph posted to the right-wing group’s Twitter page, “SuperHappyFunAmerica,” on the evening of Jan. 5, which was shared in court documents, with the caption, “Bus 1 of 11 coming to Washington DC. See you there!”
More than 1,000 people have been arrested in nearly all 50 states “for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including more than 320 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement,” the U.S. Attorney’s office said.