Amanda Kondrat’yev, the Florida woman who threw a cup filled with red liquid at Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) in June has been sentenced to 15 days in jail, must pay a $500 fine, and serve one year of supervised probation.
Video captured the moment the clear cup filled with a red liquid was hurled at Gaetz who vowed he would press charges.
Matt Gaetz got milkshaked in Pensacola pic.twitter.com/yqz3bPgjw5
— jordan (@JordanUhl) June 1, 2019
The 35-year-old woman, who was one of several protesters who had gathered outside the restaurant where the lawmaker was holding a town hall, was reportedly holding a sign that said, “Gaetz—wipe the blood from your hands, A+ rating – NRA, save our kids vote Gaetz out in 2020.” Kondrat’yev was later arrested and pleaded guilty in August to assault.
Being present at the sentencing on Monday, Nov. 18, Gaetz had asked that Kondrat’yev be given prison time instead of probation, citing the safety of his supporters and himself.
“I come not for any vengeance or retribution, but for the safety of the constituents who attend our public events,” Gaetz told the court.
“Constituents deserve to be safe at events hosted by our congressional office,” the congressman wrote in a victim impact statement. “My staff deserves to be safe. Their families and mine shouldn’t have to worry that while federal officials are doing their jobs, we are at risk of assault.”
“My supporters are just as passionate as all my opponents,” Gaetz added.
“They have the capability to be violent, too. My efforts to ensure ALL participants remain nonviolent are undermined greatly by the Defendant’s actions,” he wrote. “Only incarceration allows me to reinforce to my supporters and opponents alike that Free Speech is welcome—but assault will not be tolerated.”
“If the defendant is not subject to some incarceration, then word will be out that a first assault is functionally ‘free,’” he concluded. “This will make my events, my staff and my constituents less safe.”
Judge Hope Cannon, however, ordered the shorter sentence due to the activist’s lack of a criminal record, stating that “this was aberrant behavior on Ms. Kondrat’yev’s part,” according to the Pensacola News Journal.
As such, Democrat Kondrat’yev will only be sentenced to 15 days in federal prison along with one year of probation and a $500 fine.
The judge also noted, “The fact that there was no bodily injury or harm does not make this crime count any less.”
Woman who threw slushie on Matt Gaetz at Pensacola event sentenced to 15 days in prison pic.twitter.com/IHMM8URhDO
— Vihar Gadhesariya ⚕️ (@gvihark) November 20, 2019
Kondrat’yev, who ran as a Democrat for Florida’s 1st Congressional District in 2016 before withdrawing from the race, which Gaetz won, said, “Thank you” to her supporters who helped her through “SlushieGate” following the court appearance.
“Thank you to everyone that helped me through this SlushieGate madness…15 days jail, 1 yr probation, $500 fine. Not ideal, but I will survive,” she wrote.
Thank you to everyone that helped me through this SlushieGate madness. Special thanks to Eric Stevenson of @StevensonKlotz, and to all my friends and family that were with me in person or in spirit.
15 days jail, 1 yr probation, $500 fine. Not ideal, but I will survive. pic.twitter.com/QAsGAMYzq0
— Amanda Kondrat’yev (@manderwall) November 19, 2019
Gaetz on Tuesday, Nov. 19, tweeted a statement in which he said was “pleased” with the sentencing.
“I am pleased with the court’s decision today to sentence Amanda Kondrat’yev to 15 days in jail and one year of probation,” he wrote. “Physical assault has no place in our political discourse, and if individuals choose to engage in such activities at our events they will be prosecuted.”
“I am grateful law enforcement and our judicial system recognized this principle today, and I remain committed to maintaining a safe environment for my constituents at future events,” he added.