Transgender Oath Keeper petitions for release from jail following charges relating to the Capitol siege, reportedly citing safety fears
- Jessica Watkins, an Oath Keeper, was arrested in January and charged with conspiring to storm the Capitol.
- She has petitioned to be released from jail and for the courts to consider home detention.
- Watkins believes she is at “particular risk” as a transgender woman, BuzzFeed News reported.
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A member of a far-right militia who stormed the US Capitol building has petitioned to be released from jail due to safety concerns relating to her being transgender, according to BuzzFeed News.
Jessica Watkins, an Oath Keeper, charged with conspiring to attack the US Capitol building on January 6, filed for release pending trial on Saturday.
She alleged that she has been “treated harshly” and is at “particular risk in custody” because she is transgender, BuzzFeed News reported.
Watkins also argued that she is no threat to the public, the media outlet said.
The 38-year-old has been held in at least two facilities, including in the Montgomery County Jail in Dayton, Ohio. It is not clear where she is currently being held.
She is asking for the court to release her and instead consider home detention.
In a legal document seen by BuzzFeed, Watkins alleged that she had been mistreated in an Ohio county jail.
She claims that she was stripped naked and left “in a cell with lights on 24 hours a day for 4 days in full view of everyone,” according to her attorney.
This was in response to a hunger strike that the Oath Keeper went on in a bid to get treatment for an arm injury, the media outlet reported.
Authorities believe Watkins to be the leader of the Ohio State Regular Militia, a far-right group that shares members with the Oath Keepers.
Watkins is a former Army ranger, Afghanistan war veteran, and volunteer firefighter, BuzzFeed News reported.
She has also managed a bar in Woodstock, Ohio for the last two years, the media outlet said.
The Oath Keeper was arrested on January 18. She was indicted a week later on charges related to her activity in the insurrection.
Watkins was pictured storming the Capitol building on January 6. She also confirmed that she stormed the building on Parler, taking a selfie in the building’s rotunda.
“Me before forcing entry into the Capitol Building,” she posted on Parler. “#stopthesteal #stormthecapitol #oathkeepers #ohiomilitia.”
Court filings from prosecutors against Watkins suggest that the Oath Keepers had spent months planning their attack on the Capitol.
A series of text messages obtained by the prosecutors suggest that extensive plans to storm Congress might have started in November.
“It is our duty as Americans to fight, kill and die for our rights,” Watkins texted a contact on November 17.
“We need to go underground if this coup works,” she texted a few days later.
Watkins also personally trained recruits to prepare them for the deadly siege, prosecutors said.
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