BEVERLY HILLS—John Strand, a former Beverly Hills actor and romance novel cover model was sentenced to two years and eight months for his participation in the 2021 Capitol Insurrection Thursday, June 1. He was ordered by the courts to pay a total of $10,000 in fines.
According to reports, Strand’s additional fine was due to the fact that he had been fundraising off his conviction for legal defense purposes even though he was appointed a lawyer through the courts. The DC District Court Judge Christopher Cooper added that because of Strand’s lack of remorse his sentence was longer than what it might have been.
“On the Capitol steps, Strand took a series of selfies, made a vulgar gesture at the besieged police officers, and boasted on Twitter about having stormed the Capitol,” prosecutors wrote in a sentencing brief. “Strand has since leveraged his crimes in extensive self-promotion in which he seeks money for ‘legal services,’ even as taxpayers shoulder the actual burden of his criminal defense.”
The government revealed in a sentencing memo that Strand raised more than $17,000 since his conviction for his legal defense and did not disclose that his legal representation was paid for by the taxpayers.
Simone Gold, a doctor from Beverly Hills who also holds a law degree from Stanford, was charged alongside Strand. During the pandemic Strand served as a spokesperson for Gold’s anti-vaccination group American Frontline Doctors. On January 6 Gold and Strand were part of the crowd of people who participated in the insurrection after the former president made his speech making their way to the House Chamber where they were met with a group of officers.
“Strand made his way to the front of a mob facing off against a line of police guarding the House Chamber. The mob, with Strand at the very front, violently pushed their way through the line of Capitol police officers, resulting in a head injury to Sergeant N.V., who was at the front of the police line. Strand and Gold then stood outside the House Chamber Doors, watching on as a fellow rioter with a flagpole broke the windows in the House Chamber Doors. Inside the House Chamber, officers drew their weapons and barricaded the doors in a desperate attempt to prevent Strand and the mob from breaching the House Chamber, where members of Congress and others remained inside,” the sentencing memo read.
In March 2022, Gold pleaded guilty to a single misdemeanor charge of unlawfully entering and remaining in a restricted area of the US Capitol. She was sentenced in June 2022 to 60 days in prison.
Even though Strand has been found guilty on five counts he still maintains his innocence stating that the prosecutors destroyed his life for a lie.
Strand’s attorney argued that it was Gold who insisted on heading inside the Capitol and his client followed after her to protect her.
“Of the approximately 1,000 individuals who entered the United States Capitol on the afternoon of January 6, 2021, John Strand is, if culpable at all, certainly the least culpable of them all,” Strand’s attorney wrote in a sentencing brief. “For unlike virtually every other person who entered the Capitol that day, his goal was not to cause violence, or even to voice displeasure at the results of the presidential election and its processes. And it was certainly not to obstruct the certification process, corruptly or otherwise.”