A man being held in home incarceration for his role in the January 6 Capitol riot asked a federal judge on Saturday to allow him to use dating apps while he awaits trial.
Federal prosecutors have accused Thomas Sibick of stealing Michael Fanone’s badge and radio while others beat, shocked and threatened to kill the Capitol Police officer during the riot.
He is being held in his parent’s home in Buffalo, New York, according to the local station WUSA-TV.
On Christmas, his attorney filed a motion asking U.S. District Judge Amy B. Jackson to allow him to use some websites to help him find a job, as well as « interact with members of the opposite gender for the purpose of establishing a friendship, » the station reported.
« He is not seeking to use any social media application for any prohibited purpose, such as for political engagement, news reading, or any other activity that would violate not only the letter, but the spirit, of his release conditions, » attorney Stephen Brennwald wrote. « He is very grateful to this Court for the chance it took when it released him, and he has no intention of remotely coming close to any line that delineates his activity while on release. »
He added: « He does, however, feel the need to establish some sort of connection with someone (if possible, in light of his situation). »
Brennwald also acknowledged in the motion that it may be difficult for Sibick to find employment, as any work would need to be remote, and that he would be unable to leave his home « for the purpose of going to dinner, » the news station reported.
Police arrested Sibick in March after Fanone’s police badge was found in his yard, according to the news station. He was originally ordered held without bond.
In October, Jackson allowed him to be released to home incarceration over concerns that being in jail could radicalize him further, WUSA reported.
Jackson ordered him released to his parents. As part of the release, he would not be allowed to use social media or watch political television that could « inflame his thoughts, » according to the station.
« I’m not going to order that he not watch Fox News; I’m going to order that you turn off the talk shows, period. No MSNBC either, » Jackson told his parents. « I’m trying to make sure it’s a calm environment. And I’m looking to you to make sure of that. »
Federal prosecutors charge Sibick with robbery, civil disorder, assaulting police and committing an act of physical violence on Capitol grounds. He faces up to 20 years in prison.