Michael Jackson Impersonator James Beeks Acquitted in Capitol Riot Case

James Beeks (Credit: YouTube/James Beeks)

James Beeks, a Michael Jackson impersonator and Broadway actor, who entered the U.S. Capitol with members of the Oath Keepers on Jan. 6, 2021, was acquitted Wednesday of all charges.

The singer and actor escaped conviction after the judge in the case said there was no evidence Beeks was aware of a plan to obstruct Congress, Politico reported.

Beeks, 51, represented himself in the case although he had a standby counsel who delivered the closing argument.

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The actor told the court he joined the far-right Oath Keepers on a whim a few weeks before the Capitol riot, and had no clue the militia group planned to storm the building in an effort to prevent certification of the 2020 presidential election.

“I was duped,” he said. “I didn’t know anything about them.”

Beeks was playing the role of Judas in a traveling production of Jesus Christ Superstar when he was arrested on Nov. 23, 2021.

Federal prosecutors said in a news release at the time that Beeks joined with group to “forcibly enter the Capitol on Jan. 6 and obstruct the Congressional proceeding occurring that day.” Although prosecutors noted that “unlike” the camouflage-combat attire other people in the group had on, Beeks was wearing a jacket from Michael Jackson’s “Bad” tour along with a black helmet, and was carrying a homemade shield during the riot.

The Justice Department charged him with multiple counts, including a felony charge of obstruction of Congress and a misdemeanor of unlawfully entering a restricted building or grounds.

But U.S. District Judge Amit P. Mehta said Wednesday prosecutors failed to present evidence to prove their case.

Mehta did convict a second defendant charged alongside Beeks, Donovan Crowl, with obstruction and civil disorder. Both men had a “stipulated bench trial,” where a judge decided the case instead of a jury. The Associated Press reported all sides agreed to the bench trial.

Beeks’ acquittal was a “rare miss” for Jan. 6 prosecutors.

Following the verdict, the actor told reporters he “made a mistake” joining the Oath Keepers.

“It has ruined my reputation, especially in the entertainment industry that I worked so hard to build. I was at the apex of my career,” he said.

Before leaving the courthouse, Beeks broke into song and said he’s considering starting a career in tech.