WASHINGTON — A judge imposed one year of probation Thursday on an Auburn woman who admitted to two federal misdemeanors stemming from the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol building.

Kimberly Sylvester of Auburn is seen inside the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6, 2021, riot. She was sentenced Thursday to two, one-year terms of probation to be served at the same time and to pay $500 in restitution. Submitted photo

Kimberly Sylvester, 59, appeared in U.S. District Court by videoconference where a judge sentenced her to two, one-year terms of probation to be served at the same time.

The judge also ordered her to pay $500 in restitution.

Sylvester pleaded guilty in March to charges of disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds and parading, demonstrating or picketing in any of the Capitol buildings.

Each crime is punishable by up to six months in prison or a fine of up to $5,000, or both.

Prosecutors were seeking a sentence of three weeks in prison and three years of probation.


“The Court must also consider that the defendant’s conduct on January 6, like the conduct of scores of other defendants, took place in the context of a large and violent riot that relied on numbers to overwhelm police, breach the Capitol, and disrupt the proceedings. But for her actions alongside so many others, the riot likely would have failed,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Shalin Nohria wrote in court papers.

The Jan. 6 riot was “a violent attack that forced an interruption of Congress’s certification of the 2020 Electoral College vote count, threatened the peaceful transfer of power after the 2020 Presidential election, injured more than one hundred police officers, and resulted in more than $2.9 million in losses,” Nohria wrote.

Sylvester was arrested in Portland on Dec. 13, 2023, and charged with four crimes in connection with the Jan. 6 riot.

Prosecutors were expected to dismiss charges of entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds, and disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds.

In a written statement to the court, Sylvester wrote: “There is simply no punishment that will ever compare or exceed the self judgement and shame I have brought upon myself. The last several years of my life have been some of the hardest I have faced.

“I have gone through a period of estrangement with a close family member, a severe illness, the loss of my career and ability to volunteer to help the veterans of our nation I hold so dear. This day of Jan. 6 has also brought me nothing but regret, remorse, shame and reckoning with everyone and everything in my life,” she wrote.


Sylvester said she went to Washington over concerns for the country and to attend a prayer vigil a day earlier.

On Jan. 6, she went to The Ellipse to hear speeches, then walked with the crowd to the Capitol building, she said.

“Eventually, things started to get more chaotic, and that I realized, but I was completely oblivious to the violent events taking place out of my vision and would not truly know what had occurred until days and months after,” she wrote.

It was only when she was inside the building that she became aware of people engaging in inappropriate behavior with police, she wrote.

“I have no reasonable or intelligent answer as to why I proceeded to enter the open doors into the building. Looking back, I think my curiosity as to what was happening would be my downfall. Had I known the full scope of events happening at that point, I would never had gotten any closer and certainly wouldn’t have stepped inside, for any reason,” she wrote.

“I entered the building with pure stupidity and there is simply no excuse for that. I have told everyone I have discussed this with, (that) I and only I, made that decision to walk in and I will be the one to pay for this decision, which will affect me the rest of my life.”


Her attorney, Marina Medvin, told the judge in a sentencing memorandum that Sylvester is a grandmother and a mother of two adult daughters from prior marriages, which ended in serious physical abuse and infidelity. She is a registered nurse who has worked in various medical fields, including oncology, ortho-neuro, dementia, physical rehabilitation and general medical/surgical nursing.

“I spent my entire career helping others as a nurse, which was something I held in high regard,” Sylvester wrote. “I cared for my patients as I would my own family. That has been taken from me, due to this one day of bad judgement. I was also proud to help local veterans return to see their monuments and to honor their service by volunteering on the medical team who assisted them back to Washington. I no longer can do this, due to my actions.”

Both of her parents served as officers in the U.S. Army during World War II.

Sylvester is pictured in court documents entering through the door to the building that had been breached.

She was caught on camera walking through the north Crypt lobby wearing a purple puffy coat and a red, white and blue “TRUMP” ski cap with a pom-pom.

In other photos, she is shown moving through the lobby, inside Statuary Hall, near the interior door to the U.S. Capitol Rotunda and just inside the Senate Wing door before leaving the building.


She had spent roughly an hour in the building, according to court documents.

Investigators determined that Sylvester’s cellphone had been in use inside the Capitol on the day of the riot.

Four days after the Capitol breach, a federal agent texted an image of a woman to Sylvester’s cellphone and asked her to confirm or deny she was the woman shown in the photo.

Sylvester responded, acknowledging she was the woman pictured in the photo and, during a later interview, admitted she had been in the building that day, according to court records.

She told agents that when she entered the building, the door had already been opened.

Sylvester can be seen in court documents going into the building while the emergency alarm was blaring and “with rioters still climbing through the broken window immediately to her left” at the Senate Wing door.


Sylvester told agents she watched as a group of people pushed and shoved on a door, and “that was when she realized she should not be in the” building and found a police officer and told him ‘she wanted to get out,” according to court documents.

The officer helped her down a staircase that led out of the building, she said.

She denied being involved in any rioting, theft or destruction of property of any kind.

Sylvester told FBI agents that she told police officers inside the building that she was a nurse and could provide aid as needed, according to court documents.

More than a half-dozen other Mainers have been charged in connection with the Jan. 6 riot.

Related Headlines

Comments are not available on this story.