USA Today reports that Amanda Kondrat’yev, a Pensicola woman who briefly ran against Gaetz as a Democratic challenger in the 2016 election, threw a red slushie drink at Gaetz during his “Won’t Back Down” town hall in June. She was sentenced Monday to 15 days in prison for assaulting a U.S. congressman.
The 35-year-old mother of two, will turn herself in to the U.S. Marshals to begin her sentence December 2nd. She pleaded guilty in August and admitted to throwing the cup at Gaetz as he was leaving the Brew Ha Ha restaurant event on June 1.
Rep. Matt Gaetz frequently appears on television supporting President Trump.
Authorities say Kondrat’yev was part of a group of protestors when she threw a slushie, which struck Gaetz in the back. Several witnesses identified Kondrat’yev as the assailant and the slushie throw was caught on video.
Sentencing guidelines called for a prison sentence of eight months to a year, but U.S. Magistrate Judge Hope Cannon took into consideration the fact that Kondrat’yev had no prior criminal history and that the crime in question had a “limited duration” and justified a departure from those guidelines.
The judge said “the fact that there was no bodily injury or harm does not make this crime count any less” adding that public officials should be able to hold office without fear of being assaulted.
In addition to the 15 days in prison, Kondrat’yev will serve one year of supervised probation and pay a $500 fine. Gaetz who attended the hearing Monday, during court gave a statement to the judge in which he asked Kondrat’yev be sentenced to prison. “I come not for any vengeance or retribution, but for the safety of the constituents who attend our public events,” Gaetz told the court.
He later said that he was afraid a sentence of probation instead of prison time, would lead “people (who are) willing to endure that consequence to show up wishing to cause harm to my supporters of me.”