Florida pastor, son found guilty for involvement in Jan. 6 Capitol riot

Florida Pastor James Cusick Jr. is allegedly shown in police body camera footage inside the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. | Justice Department

A Florida pastor and his son were found guilty of involvement in the Jan. 6, 2021, U.S. Capitol riot that delayed the 2020 presidential election results certification.

Pastor James Cusick of the Melbourne-based Global Outreach Ministries Church, his son Casey Cusick and David John Lesperance of Indian Harbour Beach were found guilty last Friday by a jury of knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building or grounds without lawful authority, disruptive or disorderly conduct in a restricted building and violent entry and disorderly conduct on the grounds of the Capitol.

All three men plan to appeal the guilty verdict, reported Florida Today on Monday. In the meantime, the three are out on bond, and their sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 12.

Pastor Cusick and his son, along with Lesperance, who is reportedly a member of Global Outreach Ministries, were arrested and charged in June 2021.

According to charging documents, in the months leading up to the arrest, the Federal Bureau of Investigation received multiple anonymous tips claiming that the Florida pastor took part in the Jan. 6 riot.

Federal authorities were also directed to Lesperance, who, in a voluntary interview, admitted to investigators that he and his pastor entered the Capitol building during the Jan. 6 riot.

Through phone records obtained with a warrant, investigators discovered that Cusick's phone was used on Jan. 6, 2021, in "a geographic area that includes the interior of the U.S. Capitol building."

Authorities also found video footage from both body cams and closed-circuit television of Cusick inside the Capitol building on the afternoon of the insurrection, according to the statement of facts.  

Cusick is affiliated with the Association of Faith Churches and Ministers and graduated from Rhema Bible Training College in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1979. The address listed for the Global Outreach Ministries is located in a residential neighborhood and appears to have been based out of a home, according to Google Maps. Google lists the ministry as "permanently closed."

Cusick, his son, and Lesperance are three of more than 1,000 people who have been arrested for their involvement in the Jan. 6 Capitol breach.

The riot occured the day in which then-Vice President Mike Pence and members of Congress were to count the electoral votes in the 2020 presidential election in which President Joe Biden defeated former President Donald Trump. Thousands gathered in the nation's capitol that day for legally registered rallies on the Elipse and on Capitol Hill. However, before the official rally at the Capitol began, several protestors pushed past security into the Capitol. 

In May, four leaders of the far-right organization the Proud Boys, including former national chairman, 39-year-old Henry "Enrique" Tarrio, were convicted of seditious conspiracy for involvement in the Capitol riot.

Last month, four members of another far-right organization, the Oath Keepers, were found guilty of seditious conspiracy and other charges for their part in the riot.  

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