A Donald Trump supporter from Northern California who has been charged with assaulting US Capitol officers while trolling them for ‘protecting pedophiles’ during the January 6 riots was previously convicted of the statutory rape of a 14-year-old girl.
Body camera footage caught Sean Michael McHugh, 34, of Auburn, pushing a large metal sign into a line of uniformed officers during the insurrection and spraying an unknown, yellow chemical on police, prosecutors said.
‘You guys like protecting pedophiles?’ McHugh shouted at officers, federal prosecutors said. ‘You’re protecting communists,’ and ‘there is a Second Amendment behind us, what are you going to do then?’
According to a criminal complaint, several videos featured McHugh encouraging the crowd with his megaphone to intimidate officers and approach the police line.
McHugh was arrested on May 27 and held in custody after a hearing in Sacramento federal court.
He did not enter pleas to charges that include assault on law enforcement with a deadly or dangerous weapon, obstruction of justice and physical violence on Capitol grounds.
During a hearing on Tuesday, a federal judge ordered McHugh to remain in jail pending trial because he deemed him a threat to the public.
A review of McHugh’s criminal history casts a new light on his ‘pedophile’ comments directed at Capitol police.
In 2010, McHugh was convicted of unlawful sex with a minor and sentenced to 240 days in jail, followed by four years of probation.
McHugh was 23 years old at the time of the offense and the female victim was 14.
Former Placer County Deputy District Attorney Todd Kuhnen, who prosecuted the statutory rape case, told CNN that the victim claimed she was intoxicated during the incident, and that DNA evidence tied McHugh to the scene.
McHugh pleaded not contest to the charge, with the victim’s approval, after the prosecutor opted against taking the case to trial in order to spare the 14-year-old girl the added trauma of having to testify in court.
At the time of the violent insurrection in Washington DC, McHugh was out on probation stemming from misdemeanor convictions for driving under the influence and driving with a suspended license.
His extensive criminal record in California included a string of arrests on DUI and trespassing charges.
The crowd that stormed the Capitol was trying to disrupt the certification of Joe Biden’s presidential victory.
Many had come from a rally by then-President Trump, who refused to concede defeat and continued to assert without evidence that the election had been stolen.
Hundreds of rowdy and violent MAGA supporters broke through police barricades and overwhelmed officers.
Some carried pepper spray, baseball bats and other weapons as they forced their way into the Capitol with chants of ‘Hang Mike Pence’ and ‘Stop the Steal.’
More than 460 people have been charged to date in the Capitol breach, including 125 charged with assaulting or impeding police.