The man who pleaded guilty to sending pipe bombs to prominent Democrats has been sentenced to 20 years in prison and five years of supervised release, CNN reports.
Cesar Sayoc, a 57-year-old Donald Trump follower, was charged with 65 felonies and faced anywhere between 121 months and life in prison. However, U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff decided that Sayoc’s failure to create bombs that would detonate and harm his targets was “a conscious choice.” “He hated his victims, he wished them no good,” said Rakoff, “but he was not so lost as to wish them dead, at least not by his own hand.”
Last October, Sayoc sent 16 improvised explosive devices (IEDs) to 13 targets over a two-week span, according to court documents obtained by CNN. His targets included President #BarackObama, #HillaryClinton, Sens. #CoryBooker and #KamalaHarris, actor #RobertDeNiro and major Democratic donors like #GeorgeSoros and #TomSteyer. Sayoc was arrested in October outside a South Florida auto parts store, and since then he has been held without bail. “I am beyond so very sorry for what I did,” Sayoc said during his sentencing hearing. “Now that I am a sober man, I know I was a very sick man. I should have listened to my mother, the love of my life. She told me to get help,” he told the court.
Sayoc claimed he accepts full responsibility but decided to blame his actions on allegedly being sexually assaulted at a Catholic boarding school, having dyslexia, phobias, and PTSD. “I am so very sorry to all the victims … I will be apologizing to them for the rest of my life,” he told the court. According to CNN, his lawyers made a deal with prosecutors to eliminate a charge that would have carried a mandatory life prison sentence when Sayoc entered his guilty plea back in March.
That agreement included Sayoc’s sworn statement that he “sent all of the 16 devices with the intent to threaten and intimidate people and with the intent to injure property” and that he “was aware of the risk that [the devices] would explode.” Sayoc’s terrorist attack stemmed from years of “hate-filled threats,” months of planning and “days of carefully assembling the explosive mailings,” according to the prosecution’s sentencing memorandum obtained by CNN.