South Paris man gets a week behind bars and probation for role in Jan. 6 riot

A South Paris man who pleaded guilty to a federal crime after entering the Capitol illegally on Jan. 6, 2021, was sentenced Monday to a week behind bars, then four years of probation.

Todd Tilley, 61, pleaded guilty Monday to a misdemeanor charge of parading, demonstrating or picketing in any of the Capitol buildings.

Three other charges were dismissed, including entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds, disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds and disorderly conduct in a Capitol building or grounds.

Todd Tilley is identified in a video taken Jan. 6, 2021, outside the U.S. Capitol. Screenshot from video

In addition to probation, Tilley was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Trevor N. McFadden to spend seven consecutive days of his four years in “intermittent confinement” or incarceration before he is released on probation, according to a U.S. Attorney’s Office spokeswoman.

Tilley also was ordered to serve 60 hours of community service within the next six months.

As part of his plea agreement, Tilley agreed to give up his right to appeal his conviction

Judge McFadden ordered Tilley to pay $500 in restitution to the Architect of the Capitol. Prosecutors said estimates of damage done to the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, approach $2.9 million.

Tilley had faced up to six months of prison, up to five years of probation and a fine of up to $5,000 on the charge.

Prosecutors had sought two weeks of incarceration for Tilley, plus three years of probation in addition to the community service and restitution.

JAN. 6, 2021

According to U.S. Assistant Attorney Douglas B. Brasher, who served as prosecutor in the case, Tilley drove to Washington on Jan. 5 to protest Congress’ certification of the 2020 presidential election.

On Jan. 6, Tilley attended rallies to watch speeches near The Ellipse, then marched with other protesters to the U.S. Capitol, Brasher wrote in court documents.

Outside the Capitol, he watched as rioters attempted to scale walls in an effort to gain entrance into the building. He helped at least one other rioter up and over the wall, Brasher wrote.

He saw other rioters battling with law enforcement officers who were attempting to keep the crowd from reaching the building, Brasher wrote.

He saw smoke, smelled pepper spray and heard sirens and loudspeakers warning him that he was in a restricted area, Brasher wrote.

At about 2:24 p.m. on Jan. 6, Tilley entered the Capitol building though the Senate Wing doors. He walked in a crowd of rioters through the Crypt, Statuary Hall and other areas inside the Capitol building, Brasher wrote.

On at least one occasion, Tilley joined with other rioters in repeatedly chanting: “Stop the steal!”

He exited the building roughly a half-hour later, Brasher wrote.

That evening, Tilley sent by text message a photo he had taken of the crowd near the Washington Monument to a relative, who replied: “Are you there?”

Tilley answered: “Yes. Pence screwed us over,” Brasher wrote.

Tilley “knew at the time he entered the U.S. Capitol Building that he did not have permission to enter the building” and, while there, paraded, demonstrated or picketed, Brasher wrote.

TILLEY’S BACKGROUND

Tilley grew up in Norway, graduating from Oxford Hills High School, and excelled academically and athletically.

After high school, he left home to attend college after saving money for tuition, according to his attorney, Robert A. Levine of Portland.

He enrolled in Northeastern Bible College, living in ministry housing in the Bronx, New York.

Tilley worked as a youth pastor and coached baseball at a local church, Levine wrote.

He taught high school at a Bible school where he met his first wife, but because she had become pregnant before they married, he and his wife (who also worked at the school) lost their jobs, Levine wrote.

Tilley found work as package delivery driver.

The pressure of his new job, a child and one on the way “became overwhelming” for Tilley, Levine wrote.

“Todd had always turned to his religion for comfort, but now he had been banished from his religious community. He struggled with the loss of his identity: ‘It rocked my world, and I didn’t handle it very well.’ His new marriage began to unravel, and he sought comfort in drugs, alcohol, and sex. He began drinking, smoking marijuana, and cruising the neighborhood in his car, looking for prostitutes,” Levine wrote.

“Eventually, he was arrested and charged with sodomy and attempted rape against six young victims ranging in age from 13 to 18. He pled guilty and was sentenced to six to 18 years in (New York) state prison. His life had completely unraveled,” Levine wrote.

In 1999, Todd was released after serving 12 years of his 18-year sentence, Levine wrote.

Tilley was still married, but living apart from his wife.

He lived in a homeless shelter for a week.

Tilley violated parole and went back to prison for a year. He violated parole again and served three more months in prison, Levin wrote

While in prison, Tilley earned a master degree in sociology, Levine wrote.

As a registered sex offender, he wasn’t able to find work in that field, so he took odd jobs, Levine wrote.

He worked as a machine operator at a printing company for about nine years before returning to Maine in 2016 when his father fell ill after his mother had died. He found a job working in construction.

Tilley met a woman who shared Tilley’s religious and political views, Levine wrote.

“They were both antiabortion and pro-life. They both supported President Trump. Todd had previously encountered Donald Trump at construction sites in New York. He liked Trump’s work ethic, his personality, and the nature of his family run business,” Levine wrote.

“When Trump ran for president, Todd attended Trump rallies in Manchester, New Hampshire. He enjoyed the rallies because the crowd was always festive, patriotic and supportive. He felt at home, among like-minded people. He became a supporter of the America First Movement, which helped him recover his own personal sense of pride,” Levine wrote.

After the 2020 election, Tilley and his friend “were very disappointed. From conservative media on TV, Todd learned about the rally in Washington, DC, on January 6, 2021,” Levine wrote.

A year later, on Jan. 12, 2022, Tilley was getting ready for work as a flagger when he suddenly lost his ability to speak, Levine wrote.

Tilley’s friend rushed him to the hospital, where he spent the next week, having suffered a stroke.

One of his daughters, who is a nurse, took Tilley to New York where she worked. He was readmitted to a hospital there until he was released in February 2022, Levine wrote.

Tilley remains in outpatient treatment for stroke-related symptoms and continues to suffer mini strokes, Levine wrote.

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