Florida pastor facing US Capitol riot charges has court hearing – News Vibe24

    Florida pastor facing US Capitol riot charges has court hearing - Times of India
    WASHINGTON: A 72-year-old Florida pastor facing federal criminal charges stemming from the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol by supporters of former President Donald Trump attended a preliminary hearing before a judge on Thursday.
    James Cusick Jr., pastor of the Global Outreach Ministries in Melbourne, Florida, faces four counts of disorderly conduct related to the riot, including forced entry and disorderly conduct at the Capitol. His son Casey Cusick, 35, also a pastor at his father’s church, faces similar charges but did not attend Thursday’s hearing.
    One of their parishioners, David Lesperance, 69, also faces similar charges. Lesperance did not attend the hearing.
    According to an FBI affidavit, Lesperance told investigators that his pastor had attended Trump’s speech before the riot and then went to the Capitol building.
    More than 535 people have been charged with involvement in the riot. Trump has falsely claimed that he lost the 2020 presidential election due to widespread electoral fraud. The riot disrupted official congressional certification for President Joe Biden’s victory over Trump.
    An FBI affidavit outlining the case of James Kusic includes photographs of him being shown inside the Capitol during the riot and standing outside Trump’s hotel in Washington the day before. He is the first cleric known to have been charged with rioting.
    Kusik pleaded not guilty to all charges and was released on bail. Cusick’s lawyer, John Pierce, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
    During Thursday’s hearing, a prosecutor told U.S. District Judge Randolph Moss that the case of Kusik, his son, and Lesperan was being considered. Another hearing for James Cusick was scheduled for September 28.

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