Virginia Couple Sentenced to Home Confinement for Entering US Capitol on Jan. 6

By Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Reporter
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. news, including politics and court cases. He started at The Epoch Times as a New York City metro reporter.
August 5, 2021 Updated: August 5, 2021

A Virginia couple was sentenced by a judge on Aug. 4 to home confinement for entering the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6 breach of the building.

Joshua Bustle was sentenced to 30 days of confinement at home, while his wife, Jessica Bustle, was ordered to stay 60 days of home confinement.

U.S. District Judge Thomas Hogan, a Reagan appointee, also sentenced the couple to 24 months probation and ordered them to pay $500 in restitution each.

The couple pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of parading, demonstrating, or picketing in the Capitol building, in return for three other charges being dropped.

According to court documents, the Bustles admitted to entering the Capitol on Jan. 6 through a door that had been breached by rioters and staying inside for about 20 minutes.

They weren’t accused of carrying out violent acts.

According to one charging document, Jessica Bustle called former Vice President Mike Pence “a traitor.” Pence was presiding over the joint session of Congress that was interrupted by the breach.

“We stormed the capital,” Jessica Bustle wrote, noting that her husband and she were in the area for a rally for health freedom.

Lawyers for the couple argued in court that their punishments should be no different than the first Jan. 6 defendant to be sentenced, who received only probation for a misdemeanor offense.

Their lawyers noted that they didn’t engage in any violence and said their clients have already faced consequences as a result of their actions. Timothy Anderson, an attorney for Joshua Bustle, said his client had lost his job and the couple is moving from Virginia to North Carolina to start over.

“They have lost everything in the court of public opinion,” Anderson said.

Jessica Bustle posted a picture of herself on Facebook before the riot with the caption: “We don’t win this thing sitting on the sidelines. Excited to stand for truth with my fellow patriots and freedom fighters in DC today.” Afterward, she wrote that “Pence is a traitor.”

Hogan said he had “seriously considered” putting Jessica Bustle in jail, citing her Facebook comments. But he ultimately decided against incarceration, describing her as remorseful.

The judge allowed a delay to the start of home confinement so the Bustles can complete a planned move to South Carolina, according to WUSA-TV.

Lawyers representing the couple didn’t return requests for comment by press time.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Reporter
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. news, including politics and court cases. He started at The Epoch Times as a New York City metro reporter.