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Old Forge man facing federal charges related to Capitol protest

A hearing for Frank Scavo took place Thursday morning at the federal courthouse in Scranton.

A man from Lackawanna County, accused of taking part in the violent protest at the U.S. Capitol, was in federal court on Thursday to face charges.

A hearing for Frank Scavo took place Thursday morning at the federal courthouse in Scranton after he turned himself over to authorities.

Scavo is charged with four misdemeanors for allegedly participating in the events in Washington on January 6, when groups of protesters broke into the Capitol.

The Old Forge man had organized a bus trip taking hundreds of people from our area to Washington DC that day to hear President Trump speak at a rally on the National Mall.

Scavo's story has changed a couple of times.

He did an interview with Newswatch 16 the day after the riot and told us he was not near the building when the mob stormed the Capitol. He's now admitting that he was actually inside, but his lawyer argues Scavo did not choose to go in instead, he was pushed in by the crowd.

Scavo flashed a copy of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence as he left the federal courthouse in downtown Scranton.

"There's things that will come out in discovery and today's not the day where we'll tell the whole story," he said.

Scavo was charged with four misdemeanors related to trespassing on restricted grounds, including disorderly conduct and violent entry.

"We don't deny he was inside the Capitol. The question is how he got in the capitol," said Scavo's attorney Ernie Preate.

Preate says Scavo did not purposely enter the Capitol; rather he was pushed in by the mob. Preate claims there's evidence that will prove this in court, video Scavo himself took on his phone.

"He was in there for eight minutes. He even encountered two police officers and asked them to get out, so we're pretty confident that he didn't commit any acts of violence, that he didn't do anything unruly, didn't break anything. He was in awe, frankly, of where he was and what was happening," Preate said.

Scavo himself described feeling that sense of awe to Newswatch 16 when he sat down for an interview with us the day after the Capitol insurrection. During that interview, Scavo claimed he wasn't even near the building at the time the mob stormed the Capitol.

A picture surfaced a week later, appearing to show inside.

"I wish Frank would've talked to me before he gets involved with talking to you guys. When we talked to the FBI, we laid it out very clearly. But Frank was there; we're not denying he was there," said Preate.

Scavo faces a maximum of three years in prison and thousands of dollars in fines.

He was released and is not being held before his next hearing, but he's not allowed to travel outside the area without court approval, and he must check in with the court once a week.

His preliminary hearing is scheduled for next Wednesday in a Washington D.C. court.