A Beverly Hills skincare salon owner and a prominent anti-vaxxer physician and her spokesman appeared in federal court in downtown Los Angeles Tuesday to face charges of participating in the violent takeover of the U.S. Capitol.
Gina Bisignano, 52, was arrested Tuesday morning, and Simone Gold, 55, and John Strand, 37, were taken into custody Monday, according to FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller.
The defendants — all three are Beverly Hills residents — appeared Tuesday afternoon before a Los Angeles magistrate judge, who granted each of them bond on charges filed in the District of Columbia.
Bisignano was ordered released on a $170,000 bond and is subject to home detention. A preliminary hearing was set in her case on Feb. 4 in Los Angeles.
Gold was released on a $15,000 bond and is also subject to home detention. Her next court appearance is a virtual hearing with the District of Columbia on Thursday.
A $20,000 bond was set for Strand, but he will remain in custody until a surety is approved. Once released, Strand also will be subject to home detention. He did not agree to removal to the District of Columbia, and future court hearings have yet to be scheduled.
Bisignano — owner of Gina’s Eyelashes and Skincare in Beverly Hills — is seen on video using a bullhorn just outside the U.S. Capitol to exhort rioters to break into the building, a special agent with the FBI wrote in a complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Washington.
On video, according to the complaint, Bisignano identifies herself to the crowd as “Gina’s Beverly Hills … Everybody, we need gas masks … we need weapons … we need strong, angry patriots to help our boys. They don’t want to leave. We need protection.”
As she is speaking, rioters about 10 feet away are “physically assaulting police officers” who are attempting to prevent the building from being breached, according to the complaint, which alleges that Bisignano entered the U.S. Capitol from two separate locations and encouraged other participants in the siege to enter, as well.
She faces federal charges of civil disorder, destruction of government property, aiding and abetting, obstruction of an official proceeding, entering a restricted building or grounds, and violent entry or disorderly conduct, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District Of Columbia.
Gold, a former Southland emergency room doctor, was seen in a video posted online holding a bullhorn and making a speech inside the Capitol building during the Jan. 6 takeover.
Last year, Gold — founder of the group America’s Frontline Doctors — promoted the drug hydroxychloroquine as a coronavirus treatment despite evidence that it is not effective and causes serious side effects. She has also raised unfounded concerns about COVID-19 vaccines, which she has called an “experimental, biological agent deceptively named a vaccine.”
Strand is the communications director of Gold’s group, which gained national attention last July when she and other physicians appeared in front of the Supreme Court to decry pandemic lockdowns and criticize government efforts to stop the spread of the virus. Video of the event organized by conservative activists went viral after being retweeted by President Donald Trump.
Gold and Strand are both charged with entering a restricted building or grounds, and violent entry or disorderly conduct. Both can be seen on video walking through National Statuary Hall, which is located inside the U.S. Capitol, according to an affidavit filed in support of the charges. Additionally, a photo attached to the document appears to show Gold inside the U.S. Capitol giving a speech.
Gold told the Washington Post last week that she went to Washington to speak at a “Rally for Health Freedom” that day. She said she followed a crowd inside the Capitol and did not witness any violence, saying, “Where I was, was incredibly peaceful.”
She also told the newspaper that she was worried that her presence inside the Capitol would distract from her advocacy work with America’s Frontline Doctors, saying, “I do regret being there.”
Last week, a Glendora man was arrested and charged in the District of Columbia with one federal count each of damaging or destroying government property, obstruction of an official proceeding, and violent entry and disorderly conduct on capitol grounds, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Hunter Allen Ehmke, 20, made his initial court appearance Thursday before a Los Angeles magistrate judge, who granted the defendant’s release on a $40,000 bond, and ordered him to appear in federal court in the District of Columbia on Thursday.
Ehmke allegedly attempted to smash a window at the Capitol during the takeover by Trump’s supporters.
>> Want to read more stories like this? Get our Free Daily Newsletters Here!Follow us: