By Alexander Ramirez
SACRAMENTO, CA – Jorge Riley, a Sacramento man arrested for participating in the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol insurrection in D.C. and the former head of the Sacramento Republican Assembly, made a court appearance Friday in Sacramento County Superior Court.
But it wasn’t for the federal charges. Riley had child endangerment charges pending.
Riley was before the court for missing a court appearance March 16 on two outstanding felony child endangerment charges—his bail, after Friday’s hearing, is $250,000. It was $500,000 but he claimed he’s homeless and used a $600 government stimulus check to fly to D.C. in January.
According Russ Miller, Riley’s court-appointed attorney, Riley had left the state to protest at the capital and when he came back, all of his property, including electronics, were confiscated by the FBI.
Basically homeless at this point, his attorney claims, Riley had to stay at a friend’s place where he awaited the Zoom information to attend court and a working laptop to video chat.
Riley was arrested Jan. 19 for the Jan. 6 D.C. riot, and appeared in Sacramento federal court. He is facing two misdemeanor charges and one Class B felony, obstruction of Congress. All charges stem from posts on his Facebook page, according to the FBI.
Deputy District Attorney Daniel Jensen argued Friday Riley is in deep trouble on his Sacramento felony charges, too.
According to Jensen, there were many attempts to contact Riley by calling him and messaging him, and his previous Sacramento attorney even gave him the Zoom information. It wasn’t until Riley was told there was a warrant for his arrest three days later that he actually responded. He turned himself in on March 25.
His defense counsel claimed that even if Riley had received the Zoom information, there was no way for him to contact the court after his possessions were confiscated.
DDA Jensen said that, no matter the context, Riley still left the state and is being tried for federal offenses. Not only that, but Riley also has a series of child abuse while intoxicated cases.
One Riley felony charge involves an incident where his child nearly drowned when the two went kayaking, and another charge accuses Riley of beating his son in front of bystanders for nearly six minutes straight while intoxicated.
While DDA Jensen tried to argue that this was important to gauge whether or not Riley was a threat to society, defense counsel Miller argued that under the recent In re Humphrey case precedent on a no-bail standard, Riley should qualify for release on his own recognizance.
It was at this point that Judge Michael W. Sweet let the defense know that if it wanted to use the Humphrey case to determine bail, it would have to complete a CR-115 form, which is a statement of assets.
A preliminary for Riley was scheduled to take place on May 14.
Alexander Ramirez is a third-year Political Science major at the University of California, Davis. He hopes to hone his writing skills in preparation for the inevitable time of graduation.
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