Two Chicago-area sisters were each sentenced to 30 months probation on Tuesday after pleading guilty to joining the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.
Federal prosecutors had asked that Trudy Castle and Kimberly DiFrancesco serve at least 30 days in jail, followed by 36 months of probation and 60 hours of community service.
But U.S. District Judge Christopher R. Cooper instead sentenced them to probation and ordered each of them to pay $500 in restitution and a $2,000 fine.
Castle, who said she manages a skyscraper in downtown Chicago, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor to parading, demonstrating or picketing a Capitol building. Her sister DiFrancesco, who lives in Elmhurst and has a master’s degree in economics, pleaded guilty to the same charge.
Federal officials say they learned of the couple after someone shared photos that DiFrancesco had sent to the spouse. Authorities said they later found images of DiFrancesco wearing a red hoodie, green pants, a black jacket and a black backpack as he approached the Senate wing door of the Capitol at 2:19 p.m. on Jan. 6, 2021.
Five minutes later, they said the same woman could be seen entering the Capitol through the Senate wing door. Next to her was a woman, believed to be Castle, wearing a white jacket, dark pants and a “Trump” knit hat, holding several small American flags and a black satchel.
The women allegedly made their way from the northwest side of the building to the elevator lobby near the Visitor Center on the southeast side. At one point, federal officials say Castle could be seen walking through a security door that had been used unsuccessfully to attempt to block access to a hallway. As he was opening, Castle would use his arm to protect his head or lift the door. DiFrancesco could be seen following her, the records show.
From there, feds say the women could be seen making their way to the lower-level Visitor Center, where DiFrancesco appeared to be talking into a portable radio.
The women exited the building at 3:02 p.m. but did not leave the vicinity, according to federal officials. They allegedly sat outside and met a man the feds identified as Castle’s adult son.
At 4:21 pm, the women would try to get back to the Capitol. But that time the police pushed back the rioters and the women seemed to leave. At 4:33 pm they were seen on the north side of the building.