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Brady Knox, Breaking News Reporter


NextImg:Olympic gold medal swimmer sentenced for Jan 6

A former Olympic gold medal-winning swimmer was sentenced to six months of house arrest over his participation in the Jan. 6, 2021, riot.

Klete Keller was also sentenced to three years probation and ordered to perform 360 hours of community service by U.S. District Judge Richard Leon, Politico reported. The relatively lenient sentence was given due to his early cooperation with the investigation and lack of violence toward police.

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This image from police body-worn video, contained government's sentencing memorandum and annotated by the source, shows Klete Keller in the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. Keller was sentenced on Dec. 1, 2023, to six months of home detention for joining the mob's attack on the U.S. Capitol. U.S. District Judge Richard Leon sentenced him to three years of probation and ordered him to perform 360 hours of community service.(Justice Department via AP)


“I have no excuse for why I am in front of you today,” Keller said. “I understand my actions were criminal and that I am fully responsible for my conduct.”

While prosecutors recommended a sentence of 10 months behind bars, Leon said that his time would better be served talking to schools and teenagers about his mistakes.

“If there ever was a case that screams out for probation, this is it,” he said.

Keller's case was notable due to his height — his six-foot-six-inch stature made him easy to identify — and the wearing of his Olympian jacket, which he threw in the trash after. He said that he threw it away out of shame.

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"I stand before you feeling ashamed and profoundly embarrassed," he wrote in a letter to the judge. "On January 6, 2021, I unlawfully entered the United States Capitol Building and demonstrated without permission. I am ashamed to admit that I wanted to interrupt and influence Congress’s certification of the Electoral College vote. As a former member of the United States Olympic Swimming Team, my behavior set a terrible example for young people who looked up to me. I take full responsibility for my inexcusable actions. I will accept my punishment with humility and serve my sentence in peace."

Keller won five gold medals over three summer Olympics with the U.S. team.