Michael Stepakoff Wiki
Michael Stepakoff Biography
Michael Stepakoff is best known as a Palm Harbor synagogue rabbi who runs Temple New Jerusalem, a messianic synagogue in Palm Harbor and is a former attorney. He is one of the latest Floridians to be charged with crimes related to the January 6 insurrection at the United States Capitol.
A federal criminal complaint filed this week in the United States District Court in Washington DC alleges that Michael Stepakoff entered the Capitol after a crowd of supporters of former President Donald Trump stormed the building, disrupting Congressional certification of the vote of the electoral College.
Michael Stepakoff was arrested Friday morning at his Palm Harbor home.
How old is Michael Stepakoff?
According to his date of birth, Michael Stepakoff is 57 years old.
Capitol Michael Stepakoff
A statement of fact attached to the complaint includes two photographs taken from closed-circuit video, purporting to show Michael Stepakoff entering the Capitol. In one, he is seen walking through a door into a hall in the middle of a large crowd. Another shows him standing further down the hall, under a chandelier, apparently looking around. He wears a dark cap with blue lettering on the front, a green jacket, blue jeans, and brown boots.
The video shows him taking photos with a cell phone, according to the complaint. It refers to an unidentified witness, described as someone who has known Stepakoff for 20 years, who identified him as the person in the images.
The document also includes a copy of a January 6 Facebook post that appeared under Stepakoff’s name. The post included several photos showing crowds of Trump supporters outside the Capitol, along with a selfie of Stepakoff, in which he wears a hat and clothing similar to those seen in the security video.
“Epic and historical moment,” reads a title.
Michael Stepakoff wife
The document also references another January 6 Facebook post from Stepakoff’s wife.
“Update on Michael, everyone,” the post read. Please continue to pray for his protection and safety. He texted me privately and said that he was fine, but that he is very dangerous where he is. He was inside the Capitol … ”
The Facebook posts referenced in the criminal complaint did not appear to be publicly visible on Friday.
Michael Stepakoff Florida
United States Trial Judge Anthony Porcelli allowed Stepakoff to go free on bail, on the condition that he remain in Florida and only travel to Washington, D.C., to attend court. The judge also demanded that he hand over his passport and all the weapons he had.
The government did not oppose his release, but a prosecutor pointed to the seriousness of what happened and said that Stepakoff “decided not to leave.”
Attorney Michael Stepakoff
Stepakoff referred the questions to his attorney, Rick Terrana.
“He was there among peaceful protesters,” said Terrana. “Certainly there is nothing he has done that is bad or criminal.”
The criminal complaint seeks charges of knowingly entering or staying in a restricted building or grounds without legal authority, knowingly engaging in disorderly or disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds, and violent entry or disorderly conduct on the Capitol grounds.
Terrana described Stepakoff as a family man, a “strong republican”, who is firm in his political convictions. He went to Washington, D.C., for a business trip related to his work as a spiritual leader and attended Trump’s speech, Terrana said.
“There was certainly no prior planning or organizing or conspiracy with him or any of these other people,” Terrana said. “He got caught in the crowd. It remains to be seen if he did something wrong. ”
Michael Stepakoff Facebook, Twitter
In the weeks leading up to the violence on Capitol Hill, Stepakoff’s Twitter page featured a series of tweets and retweets related to efforts to reverse Trump’s electoral defeat. On January 5, he retweeted a post from Trump’s now-suspended account.
“I am proud to be an American,” he wrote, “and made the trip from Florida to support the effort to save America. DC full of MAGA people. We are not going to take it! Thank you President Trump! “