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Friday, July 1, 2022

Anti-Vaccine Beverly Hills Doctor Sentenced to Jail for Capital Riot

by Michael Kunzelman | The Associated Press

A Beverly Hills doctor who is a key figure in the anti-vaccine movement was sentenced on Thursday to two months in prison for attacking the US Capitol where he gave a speech to rioters during a mob attack.

US District Judge Christopher Cooper in Washington, DC also sentenced Dr. Simone Gould to 12 months of supervised release after serving 60 days in prison and ordered her to pay a $9,500 fine. She can report to the jail on the stipulated date.

Gould, a former emergency room doctor, said he deeply regretted entering the Capitol during a riot on January 6, 2021, and did not intend to be involved in an incident that would be “so devastating to our nation”. .

“It’s the opposite of who I am,” she told Cooper.

Gould founded Frontline Doctors of America. A group known to purge COVID-19 misinformation. The Beverly Hills-based doctor, a Stanford Law School graduate, has more than 480,000 followers on Twitter. She has condemned the COVID-19 lockdown and promoted the use of unproven and potentially dangerous drugs as a coronavirus treatment.

The judge told Gould that his anti-vaccine activism was not a factor in his conviction. Cooper stated that Gould was not a “casual spectator” on January 6.

The judge also said that Gould’s organization misled supporters into believing that his lawsuit was politically motivated and that his free speech rights were trampled upon. Cooper called it “unfair” that America’s frontline doctors have called for a capital riot in raising funds, including their salaries.

“I think it’s a real loss for the true victims of that day,” he said.

Gould pleaded guilty in March to entering and living in a restricted building, a crime that carries a maximum sentence of one year in prison.

More than 800 people have been indicted for federal crimes related to the rioting at the Capitol. More than 300 of them have confessed to their crime, most of them misdemeanors, and nearly 200 have been sentenced.

After the riots, Gould told The Washington Post that she followed the crowd into the Capitol, saw no violence, and did not feel she was breaking any laws.

“I could definitely speak to the place I was in, and it wasn’t the most blatantly riotous,” she said. “Where I was, it was incredibly peaceful.”

But prosecutors say she entered the Capitol shortly after assaulting a law enforcement officer and dragging her to the ground in front of him. According to prosecutors, Sona also joined the mob that was trying to enter the House Chamber and later ignored police orders to leave the Statue Hall so that she could deliver the speech.

Prosecutors had recommended 90 days imprisonment, one year of supervised release and 60 hours of community service for sleeping.

Gould spent two days in prison after his January 2021 arrest. His lawyers had requested a time sentence and 60 hours of community service. Gould agreed to pay $500 in damages.

Prosecutors said Gould did not remorse or admit to his actions. They accused him of trying to profit from his crime, saying that Frontline Doctors of America has raised more than $430,000 through their website for his legal expenses.

Prosecutors wrote in a court filing, “The beggining belief that Gold could have cost anywhere close to $430,000 for her criminal defense: after all, she filed a single motion — in the face of indisputable, easily identifiable evidence.” without being convicted.”

Defense attorney Dixon Young said Gould paid his lawyers “out of his own pocket”. Young said America’s frontline doctors kept the donated money with them.

Gould told the Post that she went to Washington on the afternoon of January 6 to speak at a “Rally for Health Freedom” on the east side of the Capitol.

Gould was charged with John Strand, communications director for Frontline Doctors of America. Prosecutors also named him as Gould’s boyfriend.

Strand has pleaded not guilty to the charges again and a trial is due to begin on July 18. Prosecutors say Strand rejected his offer for a plea agreement.

World Nation News Desk
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