Montana's Gianforte avoids jail time for reporter assault

He will spend no time in jail for the assault as the judge in Bozeman, Montana deferred a six-month jail sentence, which as long as Gianforte completes his anger management classes and community service, he will not spend one day behind bars, according to Reuters.

West initially had sentenced Gianforte to four days in jail but quickly changed the sentence.

The judge sentenced Republican Greg Gianforte to community service and anger management counseling.

Gianforte plead guilty to misdemeanor assault for "body slamming" Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs last month, according to the political news site.

In a statement to the court, Jacobs said he hoped the sentencing would send a message about the "important role of the free press and the need to help heal our political system". Gianforte says. "The last guy that came in here did the same thing".

Gianforte later apologized in a letter to Jacobs and did so again in the courtroom.

A Fox News reporter who saw the assault later reported Gianforte grabbed Jacobs "by the neck with both hands and slammed him into the ground behind him". Mr Gianforte then lied in a defamatory public statement in which he insisted that his unprovoked physical attack was somehow my fault.

In open court, Gianforte also turned directly to Jacobs and said he was sorry, and that he looked forward to meeting with Jacobs in Washington, D.C., "when you're ready".

In the settlement, Gianforte indicated he would plead no contest to misdemeanor assault charges, which carry a maximum penalty of six months in jail and a $500 fine.

"I made a mistake and humbly ask for your forgiveness". An altercation can be heard, followed by Jacobs saying Gianforte "body-slammed" him and broke his glasses.

Gianforte attacked Jacobs on May 24 when the reporter asked him a health care policy question at his campaign headquarters in Bozeman.

Another said "Paid for and paid off by Greg Gianforte". Ben Jacobs, he has accepted my apology. The House seat was left open when Montana House Representative Ryan Zinke was appointed Secretary of Interior by President Trumon May 25, 2017 in Bozeman, Montana.

Though all sides, including the judge, maintained in court Monday that Gianforte was treated no differently than any other misdemeanor offender, the congressman-elect was never required to report to the jail, take a booking photo or be fingerprinted.

"Greg Gianforte is an embarrassment to Montana".

"A man who assaults another person then lies about it, and acts with only his best interests in mind does not share our Montana values", Nancy Keenan of the Montana Democratic Party said in a statement.

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