NAPERVILLE, Ill. - A federal judge sentenced another suburban Chicago resident Wednesday to 18 months of probation and 100 hours of community service for entering the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6, 2021, riot there and walking into a senator’s office.
Dawn Frankowski, 54, was arrested in Naperville in September 2021 and charged along with David Wiersma of Posen, who on Tuesday was also sentenced to 18 months of probation. Both pleaded guilty in late August to misdemeanor parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building.
The feds say the pair spent only 11 minutes in the Capitol during the riot. But during that time, they entered the private hideaway office of U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Oregon, and the Senate spouses’ lounge.
Before she was sentenced Wednesday by U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson, Frankowski told the judge she got caught up in the moment but said, "I’m an adult. I take full responsibility for what I have done, for my bad choice."
"I do want to apologize if I caused any stress to anybody that was there," Frankowski said. "That was not my intention."
On Jan. 9, 2021, Wiersma allegedly shared a message circulating on Facebook that said then-President Donald Trump had no plan to admit he lost the 2020 election and "rather, there will be a smooth transition of power to his new cabinet, staff and Vice President, General Flynn."
Frankowski allegedly replied, "If trump doesn’t get this done we are going to jail."
FILE - Rioters storm the United States Capitol building on Jan. 6. (Evelyn Hockstein/For The Washington Post via Getty Images)
On Jan. 12, 2021, Frankowski also sent Wiersma a message asking him to "erase my pic," court records show. Wiersma allegedly replied that she was "mistaken" about the picture and that, "we were never inside the Capitol if you remember correctly. I bragged that we were to people because I thought it was funny."
The judge on Tuesday said she took that to mean Wiersma was suggesting a "false cover story."
When interviewed by the FBI on May 28, 2021, Frankowski admitted that she entered the Capitol during the riot and entered two rooms where she did not touch anything but saw people stealing objects and documents, the feds say. She also said she’d previously followed the Oath Keepers on an online platform but had since stopped.
A jury Tuesday found two leaders of the Oath Keepers guilty of seditious conspiracy related to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
Finally, during a separate FBI interview on Sept. 21, 2021, records show Frankowski again acknowledged her decision to enter the Capitol.
"Probably shouldn’t have, but whatever," she allegedly said.