Jessica Watkins, 38, of Woodstock, Champaign County, Ohio, United States is a transgender woman, a bar owner, a U.S. Army veteran and a former emergency medical technician. She is one of the members of the Oath Keepers who breached the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., USA on January 6, 2021.
That day, a joint session of Congress was certifying the vote of the Electoral College and affirming Joe Biden‘s victory in the U.S. 2020 presidential election. Most, if not all, of those who stormed the U.S. Capitol and disrupted the session were supporters of 45th U.S. president Donald Trump, 74.
Earlier that day, like most of the rioters, Watkins attended the Stop the Steal rally at the Ellipse in Washington, D.C. to listen to speeches of Trump and some of his major supporters. She went to Washington, D.C. not as an insurrectionist but as a medic, her lawyer said in a court filing on February 20, 2021.
“She was given a VIP pass to the rally,” the lawyer said of Watkins. “She met with Secret Service agents.”
Booked into the Montgomery County Jail in Dayton, Montgomery County, Ohio, Watkins is charged with conspiracy, conspiracy to impede or injure officer, destruction of government property, obstruction of an official proceeding, restricted building or grounds and violent entry or disorderly conduct. The claim that she had coordinated with the Secret Service appears to be false.
“To carry out its protective functions on January 6, the U.S. Secret Service relied on the assistance of various government partners,” a Secret Service spokesperson told Bloomberg. “Any assertion that the Secret Service employed private citizens to perform those functions is false.”
As Watkins’ lawyer proposed, she should be released and be allowed to reside and work at her bar in Woodstock and refrain from excessive alcohol consumption. The lawyer said she is a former member of the military who voted for 44th U.S. president Barack Obama and “believes in the sanctity of the government and the importance of law and order.”
According to the lawyer, Watkins was stripped naked when she was put on an allegedly punitive suicide watch for several days in the Montgomery County Jail. As a transgender female, she is at risk of harsh treatment in custody, the lawyer asserted.