CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - A former occupational therapist with the Cleveland Metropolitan School District is now charged with federal crimes for her alleged involvement in the deadly Jan. 6 riots at the U.S. Capitol.
Christine Priola was arrested, charged and had to make her initial appearance before a federal judge in Cleveland.
Charges for Priola, filed with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, include:
- Knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority
- Violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds
- Unlawful activities on Capitol grounds, parades, assemblages and display of flags
Her bond is set at $20,000.
Priola, of Willoughby, was able to post bond and returned to her Willoughby home shortly after where news reporters and photographers were waiting to talk to her. But Priola was not interested in talking about the federal charges against her, instead she asked reporters why they were not doing something good? Priola wearing a “Save Our Children” t-shirt stood on her lawn and said, “Look into the pedophilia. This world is run on the blood of innocent children. Please. Look into it.”
Priola was allegedly among the individuals seen in photos taken from inside the Senate chambers of U.S. Capitol building after trespassers interrupted a joint Congressional session released by both the FBI and Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Police Department.
According to federal investigators, Priola stood at the Senate lectern holding a sign that reads, “The Children Cry Out for Justice,” while pointing a cell phone at another individual seated at the vice president’s chair.
Law enforcement agents executed a search warrant at Priola’s Willoughby-area home on Jan. 8 where they recovered several computers, an Apple iPhone, as well as a sign and clothing that matched items seen in the FBI-released photos.
Cell phone data from Jan. 6 also helped pin Priola near the U.S. Capitol at the time of the siege, according to court records.
The 49-year-old resigned from her position with the Cleveland Metropolitan School District on Friday after social media users identified her in the photos.
In her letter of resignation filed with the school district on Jan. 7, Priola listed three reasons for her resignation:
- I will not be taking the coronavirus vaccine in order to return to in-person learning.
- I will be switching paths to expose the global evil of human trafficking and pedophilia, including in our government and children’s services agencies.
- I do not agree with my union dues which help fund people and groups that support the killing of unborn children.
Priola was arrested on Thursday, according to federal court records, and is scheduled to appear before a judge at 2:30 p.m.
19 News reached out to Priola but has not heard back for comments.
This is a developing story.