Olympic gold medal-winning swimmer Klete Keller has been charged in U.S. District Court after he was identified in videos among the mob that violently overtook the U.S. Capitol last week.
On January 6th, supporters of President Donald Trump, who lost the 2020 presidential election, broke into the United States Capitol Building and clashed with police. The riot happened as Congress was tallying electoral votes in last November’s election, in which President-elect Joe Biden defeated Trump. Five people were killed amid the mob, including Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick.
Yesterday, an original SwimSwam report identified Keller amid the mob of people who had broken into the Capitol Rotunda. The 6’6″ Keller stood out in videos due to his height, and because he appears to be wearing his U.S. Olympic gear in the video. At least a dozen people within the sport identified Keller as the person in the video.
Now, Keller has been officially charged in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. A criminal complaint charges Keller with knowingly entering and remaining in a restricted building, as well as disorderly conduct and obstructing law enforcement.
Here’s a look at those three charges and their potential sentences:
- Knowingly entering restricted building: a fine or imprisonment not more than one year, or up to ten years if “the offense results in significant bodily injury”
- Obstructing law enforcement: a fine or imprisonment not more than five years
- Disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds: a fine or imprisonment not more than six months
Keller has already resigned from his job with real estate agency Hoff and Leigh. The company confirmed Keller’s resignation yesterday, saying that “Hoff & Leigh supports the right of free speech and lawful protest. But we cannot condone actions that violate the rule of law.”
The 38-year-old swam in the 2000, 2004, and 2008 Olympics, winning two gold medals. The United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee issued a statement today condemning the riots. Without naming Keller, specifically, the USOPC referenced reports of an Olympic alumnus present during the riots. The full statement from USOPC CEO Sarah Hirshland is below:
“As many of you know, there are reports of an alumni Olympic athlete involved in the horrific acts at the U.S. Capitol building last week. As we wait for law enforcement to confirm the identity of the individual and determine necessary action, and then evaluate any appropriate actions of our own, I want to share the following thoughts with our Olympic and Paralympic community.
First off, I strongly condemn the actions of the rioters at the U.S. Capitol. They do not represent the values of the United States of America or of Team USA.
At home, and around the world, Team USA athletes are held to a very high standard as they represent our country on the field of play and off. What happened in Washington, D.C., was a case where that standard was clearly not met. The people involved attacked the very fabric of the democracy we all proudly represent and, in turn, also let our community down. I urge everyone associated with Team USA to continue to celebrate our diversity of background and beliefs, stand together against hatred and divisiveness, and use our influence to create positive change in our community.”