- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 26, 2016

CINCINNATI (AP) - An Ohio college student pleaded guilty Tuesday to trying to rush the stage at a Donald Trump rally and was ordered to stay out of future GOP presidential events during one year of probation.

A federal judge also fined Thomas DiMassimo $250 and barred him from possessing a firearm or explosive during his probation.

Judge Sharon Ovington, who last week warned him to stay away from the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, on Tuesday ordered him to “avoid attendance at any Republican presidential event.” She didn’t immediately issue a written order to elaborate.

DiMassimo, 22, faced up to a year behind bars on the misdemeanor count of illegally entering a restricted area. His trial had been scheduled next month.

The judge Tuesday also freed him from electronic home monitoring.

The Wright State University student was arrested March 12 at a Dayton-area airport hangar rally. Video showed he touched the stage while Trump was speaking.

DiMassimo has said he wanted to grab the microphone to show people they could stand up to the brash presidential candidate.

His attorney, Jon Paul Rion, called it a satisfactory resolution “as it relates to his ability to continue with his life … and to be able to continue to vocalize his political opinions.”

Acting U.S. Attorney Benjamin C. Glassman praised Ovington’s “carefully crafted sentence” in an emailed comment.

“Now as much as ever, it’s crucial that people respect the political process,” Glassman said. “That includes expressing support or opposition for candidates within the confines of laws that are designed to guarantee everyone’s safety.”

The Dayton rally was Trump’s first after well-organized students succeeded in keeping him from taking the stage for a Chicago event. He called DiMassimo a “maniac” on Twitter and praised the Secret Service agents for their quick action at the rally.

Rion said DiMassimo is completing his course work this summer at Wright State.

The college near Dayton last week withdrew from hosting the first general election presidential debate on Sept. 26, citing rising security concerns and costs. Hofstra University in New York will host.


Follow Dan Sewell at https://www.twitter.com/dansewll

For some of his other recent stories: https://bigstory.ap.org/content/dan-sewell

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