Cesar Sayoc could have been sentenced to life in prison on Monday, as requested by prosecutors, but U.S. District Judge Jed S. Rakoff said it was clear the bombs were designed to not detonate.
“He hated his victims, he wished them no good, but he was not so lost as to wish them dead, at least not by his own hand,” the judge said.
Sayoc pleaded guilty earlier this year after mailing 16 pipe bombs days before the Nov. 2018 midterm elections. The charges included using a weapon of mass destruction, interstate transportation of an explosive and what the Justice Department called acts of domestic terrorism.
They were mailed to former President Barack Obama, former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, Sen. Cory Booker, Sen. Kamala Harris, actor Robert De Niro and major Democratic donors including George Soros and Tom Steyer. He also sent bombs to CNN.
The package containing the bomb was opened on Oct. 15, 2018 by an employee in the Soros’ northern Westchester County, New York home, who called police. Soros was not at the home when the bomb was discovered.
Sayoc, who frequented events in support of President Trump, said in a statement before he was sentenced that he suffered from mental illness, sexual assault as a child in boarding school, excessive use of steroids as an amateur body builder and failure to listen to his mother, “the love of my life.”