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Published: Saturday, March 12, 2016 @ 12:17 PM
Updated: Thursday, March 31, 2016 @ 11:30 AM
DAYTON — Thomas DiMassimo, the Fairborn man accused of vaulting over a railing and rushing the stage during Donald Trump’s campaign rally in Vandalia, appeared today in federal court.
UPDATE @ 10:06 a.m.:
No action was taken in court today following a status conference in federal court for Thomas DiMassimo.
DiMassimo’s next court appearance is set for April 15, with a deadline to file evidence set for April 11.
DiMassimo appeared in U.S. District Court in Dayton March 25 for his initial appearance, where he entered a plea of not guilty in front of the judge.
“He has political views and wanted them to be heard,” said Jon Paul Rion, attorney for DiMassimo. “He did not attempt to cause anything other than that.”
The charge against DiMassimo comes with a sentence of up to one year and a fine of up to $100,000 if convicted.
“It’s our belief that this is presumed to be probation even if he were to enter a plea today,” Rion said.
Benjamin Glassman, acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, thinks this case is important when it comes to this year’s elections and the events surrounding them.
“Passions are high in this election. We think it’s important for people attending a political events, whether they’re attending to support the candidate or attending to protest, that everybody is safe,” Glassman said.
While Donald Trump was speaking to supporters at his rally at Wright Brothers Aero at the Dayton International Airport, DiMassimo was accused of jumping over a security railing in an attempt to get onto the stage where Trump was speaking.
DiMassimo nearly made it onto the stage. However, several secret service agents grabbed the 22-year-old and took him into custody.
“I was ready for him, but it’s much easier if the cops do it, don’t we agree?” Trump said following the incident.
In April 2015, Dimassimo, then a Wright State University junior, helped lead an anti-racism protest that included students standing on American flags and holding signs saying, “Not my flag.”
“I thought it would ruffle some feathers, but I did not anticipate how tense the backlash would become,” DiMassimo told this newspaper at the time. “If anything, all that has shown is that people in this area and people on the Internet care more about a symbolic piece of cloth, than they do a black person’s life … or, even beyond that, our Constitutional rights.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.