NEW YORK — Filipino American Cesar Sayoc, known as the MAGA supporter who sent pipe bombs to prominent Democrats and Trump critics, was sentenced by a New York federal court to 20 years in jail, followed by 5 years of supervised release.
Sayoc sent 16 improvised explosive devices to 13 victims across the U.S. — including Hillary Clinton, former President Obama, Robert de Niro, and CNN.
The 57-year-old expressed remorse shortly before the sentencing, and wept as Judge Jed Rakoff read the sentence.
Sayoc said that he was “very sorry” for what he did and that he is forever thankful to his mother.
He also mentioned his Fil-Am father, saying that he had a hard time in life after his dad left — especially after he was sexually assaulted at a Catholic boarding school.
Sayoc wished that “he could turn back time and take back what he did” saying that: he “feels the pain and suffering of these victims.”
But Judge Rakoff said that he is not impressed by the defense arguments that Sayoc is now incredibly remorseful.
In an opinion piece, Rakoff wrote after the sentencing, he cited the federal criminal code that requires a sentencing judge to “impose a sentence sufficient, but not greater than necessary to fulfill the purposes of sentencing….”
While none of Sayoc’s IEDs exploded, Rakoff said, at the very least they were intended to strike fear and terror into the minds of their victims and to intimidate them from exercising their freedom.
Each pipe bomb he sent included a photo of the intended victim with a red “X” mark on the face of the victims — a symbol of extermination.
Sayoc packed the pipe bombs not only with explosive powder, but also with chlorine and shards of glass potentially capable of hurting any victims that survive the kind of potential explosion.
Judge Rakoff focused on Sayoc’s intent, saying, that a defendant’s intent what he meant to do is as important as his actions.
And that the most severe punishments should be reserved for those whose intentions are without any justification or excuses.
Reports say Sayoc will be serving his sentence in a Florida prison.