WASHINGTON (CN) — A federal judge voiced concern for the Pennsylvania pizzeria owner's livelihood but said he had no choice but to send her to jail Friday after a frazzling hearing where she refused to abide by the conditions of release.
“You’re a small business owner. I don’t want to lock you up. I don’t want you to lose your restaurant,” U.S. District Judge Trevor McFadden said at an in-person court hearing for Pauline Bauer on Friday. “I’m not concerned about you being a danger to the community but I am very concerned about you being willing to comply with your conditions of release.”
McFadden asked if she would just be willing to check in with her pretrial officer once a week.
“I feel like it’s a violation of my rights, sir,” responded Bauer, who is representing herself against misdemeanor federal charges.
McFadden revoked Bauer’s release, and Bauer was taken out of the courtroom crying and screaming: “No! I’m not going back to jail! Why are you doing this?”
“I don’t like doing this, but you have made it clear that you feel you are above the law,” McFadden said.
Bauer is charged only with nonviolent misdemeanor crimes related to the Jan. 6 insurrection but has irked prosecutors by refusing to comply with simple release conditions, like handing over her passport, confirming her address, letting pretrial services inspect her home once and calling to check in once a week.
She has called to check in just twice, while also refusing counsel. In lengthy, gibberish-filled court filings, Bauer has claimed that the court doesn’t have jurisdiction over her as she is a “sovereign citizen” and “self-governed individual."
McFadden started Friday's hearing by denying Bauer’s 114-page motion to dismiss her case and also denied her attempt to have a nonadmitted lawyer represent her. Bauer interrupted the judge repeatedly all the while.
"I have a right to self-determination. I do not agree to any tacit agreement that puts me back in the water. I am on the land,” Bauer told McFadden.
Bauer told McFadden that she has to close her business for two to three days every time she has to travel for a court appearance because she can’t find anyone who wants to work. Insisting that she's at the restaurant 15 hours a day, Bauer also claimed that's where she was when pretrial services tried to conduct an unannounced inspection of her home.
“I would oppose any motion to revoke,” said Carmen Hernandez, Bauer's advisory counsel, who has remained on the case but doesn’t speak with Bauer. “She runs a restaurant, she shows up at court, there is no concern about her failure to appear and none of the charges she is charged with are dangerous.”
After McFadden ordered Bauer to be detained, Hernandez asked if the judge would be willing to stay the order until later in the afternoon when Bauer had calmed down. McFadden denied the request but said he was happy to review a motion for reconsideration of detention.
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