Pipe bomber who targeted Trump critics jailed for 20 years

Sayoc will spend 20 years in prison

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

An amateur bodybuilder who sent pipe bombs to prominent Democrats, including former president Barack Obama and actor Robert De Niro, has been sentenced to 20 years in jail.

Cesar Sayoc, 57, sent out 16 bombs just before the mid-term elections last autumn.

The one-time stripper and pizza delivery man also targeted Hillary Clinton, former vice president Joe Biden, several members of Congress and the CNN offices in New York and Atlanta.

US District Judge Jed S Rakoff concluded that the bombs were not designed to explode, as the clocks were not set and the wires not attached.

"He hated his victims, he wished them no good, but he was not so lost as to wish them dead, at least not by his own hand," the judge said.

But the prosecution, who had pushed for life imprisonment, said Sayoc "set out to terrorise people" and had not shown sufficient remorse.

Sayoc blamed his actions on a life of mental illness, childhood sexual assault and excessive use of steroids, and claimed prominent Democrats were encouraging violence.

The Trump supporter also believed Democrats were to blame for damage to his van, which was plastered with stickers of the president and images of crosshairs superimposed over the faces of his opponents.

Sayoc's lawyer said he viewed the US president as "a father figure".

Issuing an apology, Sayoc said: "With all my heart and soul, I feel the pain and suffering of these victims and I will be apologising to them for the rest of my life."

He wept upon hearing his sentence.

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More 'pipe bombs' sent to Robert De Niro and Joe Biden

Pipe bombs sent to former US president Obama and the Clintons