Father, son charged in January 6th Capitol riot ask court for mercy

ByChuck Goudie and Barb Markoff, Christine Tressel and Ross Weidner WLS logo
Tuesday, February 21, 2023
Father, son charged in January 6th Capitol riot ask court for mercy
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A Joliet native and his 32-year-old son from Chicago met in Washington DC on January 6th and admit they were inside the Capitol.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Joliet native Bradley Bokoski told court officials that he invited his son Matthew to meet in Washington on January 6, 2021 to attend then-President Donald Trump's "final rally."

But what may have begun as a father-son outing ended with numerous criminal charges and both men now fighting for their reputations.

SEE ALSO | Chicago police officer and sister vow to fight January 6th charges

The majority of those charged after January 6th face misdemeanors with the Justice Department's largest-ever investigation resulting largely in non-felony charges.

But, those seemingly small charges in some cases have large effects, as appear to be the situation with Bradley Bokoski. Bokoski, 59, was born and raised in Joliet and is now living in Utah.

Bokoski and his 32-year-old son Matthew, of Chicago, met in Washington DC on January 6th to attend Donald Trump's so-called "Stop the Steal" rally. They admit that they were inside the Capitol but maintain they were not part of the violence and went inside out of "curiosity" but acted "peacefully and respectfully."

In court records Matthew Bokoski said he is "the very model of a law-abiding citizen."

His father's reflective court statement claims that he is "ashamed" of his "inexcusable" and "horrendous" behavior on January 6th, and that he "should have led his son away from the situation." Bradley Bokoski labels himself as an active member of the Knights of Columbus, a respected Catholic service organization.

As both father and son angle to achieve the least severe punishment for what happened that day, the sentencing memorandum documents filed in their cases are a window to how devastating even misdemeanor crimes can be from an event considered by many to have been an American insurrection.

Sentencing will determine whether the elder Bokoski will lose his job of 10 years, according to the court filing. He also says in the filing that if he is fired he will "most certainly" also lose his house, a stark reality that he says faces him every day when he looks in the mirror.

Sentencing is set for April 4 in Washington D.C. Attorneys for Matthew and Bradley Bokoski declined comment for this report.