The son of a New York judge was sentenced to eight months behind bars Friday for civil disorder and stealing police equipment during the January 6, 2021 US Capitol attack.
During the riot, Aaron Mostofsky — who prosecutors say was dressed as a caveman during the attack — joined a group of rioters fighting against a line of police officers who were adjusting a fence barricade.
Mostofsky pushed on other rioters to add to the thrust against police. Later, Mostofsky stole a police vest, which he donned on top of his costume that day, and a riot shield which he says were both abandoned.
“You were literally on the front lines of this attack,” district Judge James Boasberg said during the sentencing in a Washington, DC, courtroom. “You were there pushing against police barricades,” he added, noting that Mostofsky was also part of the first group of rioters to enter the Capitol on the side of the Senate wing.
“Without conduct like yours … the barricades wouldn’t have fallen, the Capitol wouldn’t have been overrun, people would not have been killed,” the judge said.
Boasberg, however, said he was “struck by the details” in the over 30 letters he received on Mostofsky’s behalf, describing his charitable work and selflessness. “Those do lessen the time I’m going to give you,” the judge said.
Mostofsky — whose father is Kings County Supreme Court Judge Steven “Shlomo” Mostofsky — pleaded guilty in February to civil disorder, theft of government property and entering and remaining in a restricted area.
He was also sentenced to pay $2,000 in restitution for damage done to the Capitol during the riot as well as 200 hours of community service during his year of probation following his time in jail.
“When it started to get chaotic … I started to make bad decisions,” Mostofsky said Friday, choking on his words at times.
He referred to the riot as a “war scene” and said he “did not intent to harm any police officers.”
Mostofsky begged the judge to “have mercy.”
‘Stuck in the fantasy’
During the hearing, Mostofsky’s attorney, Nicholas Smith, argued that his client was not dressed as a caveman but instead was attending the rally as a “zelig,” which, according to Smith, is based on a character who appears in key moments of history.
“It’s a silly concept,” Smith said, adding that Mostofsky “wears costumes at all kinds of events.”
Before handing down his sentence, Boasberg noted how Mostofsky seemed to view the riot at the time “almost as if this were a play, a performance…” like it was “a fantasy game.”
“You somehow got stuck in the fantasy of a stolen election,” Judge Boasberg said, citing Mostofsky’s apparent interest in Star Wars.
“I hope you’ll leave some of the fantasy world behind,” Boasberg concluded. “Your indulgence in that fantasy has led to this tragic situation.”