A person described by prosecutors as a supporter of anti-fascist groups was sentenced to four years in prison on Thursday for being involved in a series of attacks in January 2021 at a rally in San Diego organized by supporters of President Trump of the time.
Nikki Hubbard, 38, pleaded guilty Sept. 28 in San Diego Superior Court to conspiracy to riot, unlawful use of pepper spray and assault, and she accepted the four-year sentence.
Hubbard, who is a transgender woman, also used the name Nikki Yach. She is identified in court records by another name which the San Diego Union-Tribune does not use in this story because it is not used by Hubbard.
Hubbard was also sentenced in a separate case to eight months in custody after admitting that in October 2020 she violated a law prohibiting felons from entering the grounds of a state prison without the warden’s consent. .
She was credited with one year and nine months of detention.
Hubbard was one of 11 defendants indicted in June on 29 counts, including conspiracy to riot and assault. Prosecutors alleged that the defendants – whom they described as ‘Antifa supporters’ – came from the Los Angeles and San Diego County area to counter the pro-Trump ‘Patriots March’ in Pacific Beach on January 9, 2021.
The defendants, dressed in black, with their faces covered, engaged in various assaults, according to prosecutors. Some of the victims were sprayed with pepper spray. One was assaulted with a stun gun. Another was attacked with a flag pole and a wooden lawn chair.
The case is believed to be the first in the country in which prosecutors have filed a conspiracy charge against an anti-fascist group.
The Center for Strategic and International Studies describes “antifa” – a term often used to describe the anti-fascist movement – as a “decentralized network of far-left activists who oppose what they believe to be fascist, racist or otherwise right-wing” and whose adherents “frequently mix anarchist and communist points of view”.
The charges in San Diego County have drawn scrutiny and criticism because reporters and bystanders documented the violence perpetrated by pro-Trump rally attendees as well as counter-protesters, but no one in the group of Trump supporters have been charged.
The rally came just three days after Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol. At least five participants in the Pacific Beach rally were present during the attack on the Capitol, according to the Appeal, a nonprofit news organization focused on criminal justice.
“Analysis of video evidence shows that the violence in this incident was perpetrated overwhelmingly by Antifa affiliates and was not a mutual melee, with both sides moving from First Amendment legal expression to ‘riot and violence,’ the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office said in a statement in December 2021.
Before Hubbard was sentenced, her husband told the court that she grew up in the foster care system and was once homeless.
“It’s political and fascist nonsense,” Hubbard’s husband said of the affair.
Outside the courtroom, GG Hubbard said his wife and others she was with came to the rally to protect the community from what she described as a violence-prone group , referring to pro-Trump organizers.
GG Hubbard also raised concerns about his wife’s placement in the county jail, saying she had been held in a men’s cell.
The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, which operates the jail, said Hubbard was being held in a “safe and secure environment” at the Vista Detention Center, which houses both men and women.
“We took his requests into consideration and offered him individual accommodation in [the women’s Las Colinas Detention and Reentry Facility]but she preferred to stay on Vista instead,” the department said.
Hubbard was imprisoned on December 30.
In May, Hubbard filed a statement in support of a lawsuit against the sheriff’s department that seeks to improve prison conditions, including medical care. Hubbard said in the filing that she was incarcerated at San Diego Central Jail and the facility denied her requests to house women for a variety of reasons, including her size.
Under Senate Bill 132, signed into law in 2020, transgender, non-binary, and intersex inmates in California state prisons have the right to be housed in male or female facilities based on their preferences. .