A Florida woman was sentenced to 15 days in federal prison this week for hurling a red slushie drink at Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz.
Amanda Kondrat’yev, 35, had faced up to a year behind bars for launching the drink at Gaetz’s chest as he was leaving an event at the Brew Ha Ha coffee shop in Pensacola June 1.
US Magistrate Judge Hope Cannon cited Kondrat’yev’s clean record as the reason for her sentencing decision Monday, the Pensacola News Journal reported.
Still, “the fact that there was no bodily injury or harm does not make this crime count any less,” the judge said, adding that elected officials should be able to hold office without fear of being assaulted.
Kondrat’yev, a married mother of two, briefly ran against Gaetz (R-FL 1st District) as a Democratic challenger in the 2016 election, before withdrawing from the race.
A witness fingered her as the slushie-slinger, according to a criminal complaint.
An officer in Gaetz’s special detail said Kondrat’yev was holding a sign that read: “Gaetz – wipe the blood from your hands, A+ rating – NRA, save our kids vote Gaetz out in 2020,” according to the complaint.
She pleaded guilty in August to assaulting a member of Congress.
In addition to her 15 days behind bars, Kondrat’yev will serve a year of supervised probation and pay a $500 fine. She is set to turn herself in to US Marshals Dec. 2.
She thanked her supporters in a tweet Tuesday for helping her through “this SlushieGate madness.”
“Not ideal, but I will survive,” Kondrat’yev wrote about the sentence.
Gaetz attended Monday’s sentencing hearing and asked the judge to send Kondrat’yev to prison.
“I come not for any vengeance or retribution, but for the safety of the constituents who attend our public events,” Gaetz said.
In a statement after the hearing, the GOP lawmaker said “physical assault has no place in our political discourse, and if individuals choose to engage in such activities they will be prosecuted.”
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