EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU) — Frank Scavo, a local political activist from Old Forge, pleaded guilty Wednesday to one of the four charges in connection to his involvement with the January 6 riots at the capitol.
In a zoom hearing Wednesday morning, Scavo changed his plea from not guilty to guilty. Scavo was facing four federal charges. He pleaded guilty to picketing within a capitol building. The maximum sentence for this charge is six months in prison and a $5,000 fine.
Scavo originally denied that he played any part in the riot and pleaded not guilty. Eyewitness News first reported word of the charges against Scavo back in March.
In January Scavo organized a bus trip with several hundred people from the Northeastern Pennsylvania area to the capitol in order to join the protest of the certification of Joe Biden’s presidential victory.
According to the court documents Eyewitness News obtained, after hearing that Vice President Pence would not impede the certification of the Electoral College vote, Scavo made his way to the Capitol, writing on his Facebook page ” V.P. Pence Fails America”.
The court documents state Scavo recorded cellphone video of himself at the Rotunda Doors on the East Front of the Capitol, where hundreds of rioters gathered. Scavo recorded activity of rioters near him screaming, pushing, and assaulting police officers.
Scavo continued to record video inside the building, pausing to take a photo of himself in front of a large painting and capturing video of himself using inappropriate language as he roamed the halls of the Capitol, court papers detail.
In a statement to Eyewitness News Frank Scavo’s lawyer Ernest Preate stated:
“You just can’t enter a federal building that’s protected, particularly the United States Capitol and you got to do what you have to do to do it in a lawfully way and he didn’t. So he plead guilty to that.”Ernest Preate Jr.
In the court document, the FBI states they did not uncover evidence of Scavo engaging in violent or destructive conduct at the Capitol grounds nor inside the building. Capitol surveillance video shows Scavo inside the building from 2:40 to 2:50 p.m.
Scavo’s sentencing date is scheduled for November 22. He did not plead guilty to entering and remaining in a restricted building, disruptive conduct in a restricted building, or violent entry in a capitol building.