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Two-time Olympic gold medalist Klete Keller convicted of storming the Capitol

Maksym InshakovSport
The titled athlete won the World Championship twice

Two-time Olympic swimming champion (2004, 2008) Klete Keller received a three-year suspended prison sentence for his involvement in the January 6 riots in Washington, D.C. in 2021, ABC News reports. The 41-year-old ex-athlete was also sentenced to six months of house arrest. He also has to perform 360 hours of community service.

The two-time world champion was seen on video wearing a U.S. national team jacket in the Capitol rotunda, surrounded by other members of Donald Trump's supporters.

Two-time Olympic gold medalist Klete Keller convicted of storming the Capitol

Keller was indicted on seven federal charges, but due to a deal reached with prosecutors, he pleaded guilty to only one count of trespassing in the Capitol. The maximum penalty under this article is 20 years in prison.

Federal prosecutors had requested 10 months in prison. In the sentencing memorandum filed last month, prosecutors argue that Keller's actions on January 6 were "unconscionable" and "will forever remain a stain on the history of this country." However, given his active cooperation with the government after he surrendered and his "sincere" remorse for his behavior, the judge gave him a much lighter sentence.

Two-time Olympic gold medalist Klete Keller convicted of storming the Capitol

At the hearing, prosecutors told the court that probation would "send a message to society that you can do this and not be punished."

In response, the defense expressed confidence that Keller had spent the past three years "suffering" in pre-trial detention and noted that he was now a convicted criminal for his actions. His lawyer argued that Keller had "spent years atoning for his actions" and was an "impeccable prisoner".

Keller told the court that he realized that his "actions were criminal" and that he "took responsibility for what happened." He then apologized to lawmakers and the American people.

Two-time Olympic gold medalist Klete Keller convicted of storming the Capitol

"I condemn the violence of that day," he said, vowing "not to repeat the actions of the past."

After leaving the Capitol, Keller threw his Olympic jacket into a trash can and smashed his phone with a hammer. However, a week later, the ex-swimmer could not stand the remorse and surrendered to the authorities.

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