Home Posts More Insurrectionists Have A History Of Violence Against Women, It Has Been Revealed
More Insurrectionists Have A History Of Violence Against Women, It Has Been Revealed
Domestic Violence

More Insurrectionists Have A History Of Violence Against Women, It Has Been Revealed


At least three men who took part in the Jan. 6 insurgency at the United States Capitol have a history of arrests for domestic violence or sexual abuse, bringing the total of insurrectionists with disturbing records of arrests or charges of violence against women and children to nine.

According to a charging memo obtained by Stardia, one of the newly listed men, who was charged with assaulting a police officer on Jan. 6, has been responsible for "many hospital visits for many victims." Another man charged in connection with the Capitol riot has been arrested multiple times for domestic violence but never prosecuted, and is awaiting trial on felony child abuse charges, Stardia said.

A third person, who allegedly yelled at Capitol police that they were "protecting pedophiles," was convicted of statutory rape in 2010, CNN reported last week.

The link between extremism and violent misogyny has become increasingly clear in recent years, as more mass shooters have been found to have a history of violent misogyny toward women. While most abusive men do not go on to commit larger acts of violence, experts say the ties between violence against women and extremism are too clear to ignore.

“We still treat violence against women as a personal or family issue, rather than a troubling indicator of someone who might become more violent,” Bridget Todd, communications director at the feminist organization UltraViolet, told Stardia in February.

The details in the three newly discovered cases are shocking. Ryan Samsel, 38, is charged with assaulting a U.S. Capitol Police officer and giving her a concussion while storming the barricades. Prosecutors say Samsel has a “long criminal history of assaultive and violent behavior” toward women and has been convicted of assaulting women at least three times.

“The facts underlying these other convictions are extremely disturbing,” prosecutors wrote of Samsel in his detention memo, “showing a pattern of Samsel choking and beating women to the point of loss of consciousness, of many hospital visits for many victims, of chipped and missing teeth, and of Samsel even breaking into one victim’s home multiple times to assault her.”

Samsel's criminal history includes a 2006 assault in which he attempted to run a woman he knew off the road with his car, punched her windshield, and threatened to kill her if she didn't pay him the $60 he owed him, according to prosecutors. In 2009, Samsel was convicted of simple assault and reckless endangerment after he "held a victim against her will for five hours, choking her to the point of u

In 2011, Samsel was convicted of simple assault, among other charges, for choking and beating his pregnant girlfriend; in 2015, he was convicted of simple assault for the third time, this time for choking a different female victim to the point of unconsciousness.

Another woman came forward in 2019 and claimed Samsel broke into her home, assaulted her, and choked her until she lost consciousness multiple times. “The victim also alleged that Samsel raped her multiple times, and that she had often been scared he would kill her,” according to the detention memo. The woman told police she obtained a restraining order against Samsel, but he violated it multiple times.

When Samsel traveled to Washington to participate in the Jan. 6 riot, he had an open warrant for his arrest on assault charges, and he was also on parole for another incident. Samsel's attorneys did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

Jorge Riley, a 43-year-old Native American who stormed the Capitol wearing feathers and black face paint, has “a history of arrests for domestic violence against previous relationships,” according to prosecutors in charging documents, though none of Riley’s domestic abuse arrests resulted in prosecution.

Riley's ex-wife, Megan Teefy, told Stardia, "I can't really put into words the fear he instills in you." Teefy claimed Riley was physically and emotionally abusive to her during their four-year marriage.

Riley is awaiting trial in California on felony child abuse charges, according to prosecutors, for which he is “alleged to have choked and beaten his child in public, causing a number of visible marks and resulting in his son briefly losing consciousness.” Riley was on release pending trial for those child abuse charges when he traveled to Washington for the Jan. 6 action.

Riley is facing federal charges in connection with the Capitol storming, including obstructing an official proceeding and engaging in disorderly and disruptive behavior on restricted grounds. Riley's attorneys did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

In the third case, Sean McHugh, 34, of Auburn, California, is facing eight felony counts for his involvement in the Capitol insurgency, including assaulting police officers and obstructing congressional proceedings. He was also convicted of statutory rape in 2010 and sentenced to 240 days in jail and four years of probation, CNN reported last week.

While attempting to storm the Capitol, McHugh allegedly yelled at Capitol police officers, "You guys like protecting pedophiles?" "You're protecting communists!" "I'd be shaking in your little shitboots too"; "There is a second amendment behind us, what are you going to do then?" and "You ain't holding the line!"

According to CNN, the prosecutor in McHugh's statutory rape case stated that the victim was 14 years old at the time of the offense, and McHugh was 23 at the time.

McHugh, via his attorney, declined to comment to Stardia.

The same far-right extremists who use conspiracy theories and hatred to radicalize followers online engage in misogyny in their quest to silence and shun women they perceive to be a threat to their power.

Rep. Jackie Speier (D-California), co-chair of the Bipartisan Task Force to End Sexual Violence,

The details in many of the cases discovered by Stardia in its initial investigation are equally disturbing.

The details in many of the cases discovered by Stardia in its initial investigation are equally disturbing..After serving five years in prison on rape, sexual battery, and criminal confinement charges, Capitol rioter Edward Hemenway was released in 2013.

The details in many of the cases discovered by Stardia in its initial investigation are equally disturbing..After serving five years in prison on rape, sexual battery, and criminal confinement charges, Capitol rioter Edward Hemenway was released in 2013..According to court documents, Hemenway lured his estranged wife to a hotel in 2004 and handcuffed her, duct-taped her mouth shut, and raped her.

The details in many of the cases discovered by Stardia in its initial investigation are equally disturbing..After serving five years in prison on rape, sexual battery, and criminal confinement charges, Capitol rioter Edward Hemenway was released in 2013..According to court documents, Hemenway lured his estranged wife to a hotel in 2004 and handcuffed her, duct-taped her mouth shut, and raped her..According to a police report, another insurgent, Guy Reffitt of Wylie, Texas, choked his wife until she nearly passed out in 2018.

The details in many of the cases discovered by Stardia in its initial investigation are equally disturbing..After serving five years in prison on rape, sexual battery, and criminal confinement charges, Capitol rioter Edward Hemenway was released in 2013..According to court documents, Hemenway lured his estranged wife to a hotel in 2004 and handcuffed her, duct-taped her mouth shut, and raped her..According to a police report, another insurgent, Guy Reffitt of Wylie, Texas, choked his wife until she nearly passed out in 2018..According to the report, when the cop asked how long he had choked his wife, Reffitt responded, “he had trouble remembering but he said not long because he loves her.”

The details in many of the cases discovered by Stardia in its initial investigation are equally disturbing..After serving five years in prison on rape, sexual battery, and criminal confinement charges, Capitol rioter Edward Hemenway was released in 2013..According to court documents, Hemenway lured his estranged wife to a hotel in 2004 and handcuffed her, duct-taped her mouth shut, and raped her..According to a police report, another insurgent, Guy Reffitt of Wylie, Texas, choked his wife until she nearly passed out in 2018..According to the report, when the cop asked how long he had choked his wife, Reffitt responded, “he had trouble remembering but he said not long because he loves her.”.Nicole Reffitt, Reffitt's wife, confirmed to Stardia in February that the physical altercation did occur, but she couldn't recall any specifics.

The details in many of the cases discovered by Stardia in its initial investigation are equally disturbing..After serving five years in prison on rape, sexual battery, and criminal confinement charges, Capitol rioter Edward Hemenway was released in 2013..According to court documents, Hemenway lured his estranged wife to a hotel in 2004 and handcuffed her, duct-taped her mouth shut, and raped her..According to a police report, another insurgent, Guy Reffitt of Wylie, Texas, choked his wife until she nearly passed out in 2018..According to the report, when the cop asked how long he had choked his wife, Reffitt responded, “he had trouble remembering but he said not long because he loves her.”.Nicole Reffitt, Reffitt's wife, confirmed to Stardia in February that the physical altercation did occur, but she couldn't recall any specifics.. 

Domestic violence and sexual assault, for example, frequently result in more violence against women.

“The relationship between far-right extremists and misogyny is extremely predictable,” Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), co-chair of the Bipartisan Task Force to End Sexual Violence, told Stardia in February.

Stardia also discovered that at least one other pro-Trump rallygoer who was near the Capitol grounds during the riot was arrested for domestic violence and sexual assault.

Benjamin Martin, of Fresno, California, attended the pro-Trump rally on Jan. 6. Although he is not facing any federal charges, Martin told GV Wire, a Northern California news site, that he was forced into the Capitol by a mob while attempting to de-escalate the situation between rioters and Capitol Police.

Martin was accused of domestic violence by his ex-girlfriend in 2017, according to KFSN-TV in Fresno. The ex-girlfriend told police that Martin strangled her after he found her looking through his phone and accused him of contacting escorts, according to a police report. Martin was also arrested that same year for allegedly threatening his estranged wife and damaging her car.

“Benjamin harassed and threatened to ‘take me out,’” the sister said in a police report. “I am not sure what he means by this and he is very angry about [losing] his real estate license. He wants to take it out on someone. I believe he is angry enough to do something to me and my family.”

Martin is not facing any federal charges as a result of his rally participation, and he did not respond to Stardia's request for comment.

Ryan Reilly provided reporting assistance.

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