A federal judge on Wednesday cleared a New Mexico man of multiple misdemeanor counts related to the January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol.
Matthew Martin of Santa Fe is the first person charged in connection with events on January 6 who has been acquitted on all charges.
AP reports U.S. District Judge Trevor McFadden issued the verdict from the bench after hearing testimony without a jury.
The outlet said McFadden allowed it was reasonable for Martin to believe outnumbered police officers allowed him and others to enter the Capitol through the Rotunda doors on the day.
The judge also said the defendant’s actions were “about as minimal and non-serious” as anyone who was at the Capitol that day.
Martin, whose bench trial started Tuesday, testified a police officer waved him into the building after the riot erupted. A prosecutor dismissed that testimony as “nonsense.”
The judge, however, disagreed. He said video shows two police officers standing near the Rotunda doors and allowing people to enter as Martin approached. One of the officers appeared to lean back before Martin placed a hand on the officer’s shoulder as a possible sign of gratitude, the judge said.