WASHINGTON, July 22 (Hfrance.fr) - A 72-year-old Florida pastor faces federal criminal charges following the January 6 attack on the United States Capitolnis by supporters of former President Donald Trump attended a preliminary hearing before a judge on Thursday.
James Cusick Jr., pastor of Global Outreach Ministries in Melbourne, Florida, faces four of the riot-related misdemeanor charges, including a violent entry and disorderly conduct on the Capitol grounds. His son Casey Cusick, 35, also a pastor at his father's church, faces similar charges but did not attend Thursday's hearing.
One of their parishioners, David Lesperance, 69, also faces similar charges. Lesperance did not attend the hearing.
According to an FBI affidavit, Lesperance told investigators that his pastor attended the speech of Trump before the riot and then went to Capitol Hill.
More than 535 people have been charged with 'having participated in the riot. Trump has falsely claimed he lost the 2020 presidential election due to widespread electoral fraud. The riot interrupted Congressional official certification of President Joe Biden's victory over Trump.
An FBI affidavit describing the case against James Cusick includes photographs believed to show him inside the Capitol during the riot and of him standing outside the Trump Hotel in Washington the day before. He is the first known member of the clergy to be indicted in the riot.
Cusick has pleaded not guilty to all counts and is released on bail. John Pierce, an attorney for Cusick, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
At Thursday's hearing, a prosecutor told U.S. District Judge Randolph Moss who consolidates the Cusick, his son and Lespe casesrancid was under study. A new hearing for James Cusick has been set for September 28. Reporting by Mark Hosenball; Edited by Will Dunham
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