WASHINGTON — A New York man who was turned in to the FBI by a Bumble match was sentenced Wednesday to three months of home detention and more than a year of probation for his role in the Capitol riot.
Robert Chapman, of Carmel, New York, appeared virtually before U.S. District Judge Rudolph Contreras for sentencing Wednesday afternoon. Prosecutors argued he deserved to serve 45 days behind bars – saying he scaled a wall at the Capitol and showed no remorse about joining the riot. His attorney, federal public defender Tom Young, told the judge a probationary sentence and fine would be more appropriate.
Contreras ultimately decided 18 months of probation, including 3 months of home detention on GPS monitoring, was more appropriate for Chapman. He said although Chapman had a more extensive criminal history than most Jan. 6 suspects, Contreras considered it “moderate” compared to the average federal defendant who came before him. Chapman will also have to pay a $742 fine and $500 restitution and serve 60 hours of community service.
Investigators were first tipped off to Chapman’s presence at the Capitol when a woman he’d matched with on the dating app Bumble sent in screenshots of him bragging that he’d stormed the Capitol and “made it all the way into Statuary Hall.” They later found surveillance video showing him inside the building, along with posts he’d made on Facebook showing the same thing. In one video, Chapman can also be heard urging another rioter, Jenna Ryan, to “shove your way in” to the Capitol. Ryan was sentenced in November to 60 days in jail.
Young argued Chapman’s conduct on Jan. 6 was minor compared to other rioters and told Contreras he was an “affable, hardworking” union man. In a sentencing memo, he described him as “perhaps a bit obnoxious” on Jan. 6, but noted he didn’t damage anything at the Capitol.
Chapman himself spoke briefly, telling Contreras, “I’m hoping as a nation and as a country we can begin to heal and bond together and become a much more unified and loving nation.”
After handing down his sentence, Contreras told Chapman he expected he wouldn’t see him in his courtroom again and added, “You’ll have plenty of time at home to reflect on Jan. 6 and your remorse. I have you’ll use that time productively.”
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