Former Team USA Swimmer Klete Keller Surrenders Over Charges in Capitol Attack

Published January 15th, 2021 - 06:27 GMT
Klete Keller practices ahead of the 2008 Summer Olympic Games, at the National Aquatics Center in Beijing, China, on August 7, 2008. (Photo Roger L. Wollenberg/UPI)
Klete Keller practices ahead of the 2008 Summer Olympic Games, at the National Aquatics Center in Beijing, China, on August 7, 2008. (Photo Roger L. Wollenberg/UPI)

Klete Keller, a five-time U.S. Olympic medalist, turned himself in to authorities to face multiple charges related to last week's deadly attack at the U.S. Capitol.

Keller, who won gold in the 4x200M freestyle in 2004 and 2008, surrendered to police in his home state of Colorado on Thursday.

A short time after his surrender, Keller was released on his own recognizance following an appearance in federal court in Denver. He was charged earlier this week.

Keller, 38, is charged with obstructing law enforcement, knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building or grounds without lawful authority and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.

Keller, who swam with American swimming great Michael Phelps, promised U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael E. Hegarty he will return for future court dates. He will be allowed to leave Colorado one time to see family in North Carolina before his case starts.

Hegarty ordered Keller to surrender his passport and declined any additional travel.

Keller was charged after he appeared in video footage taken inside the Capitol assault on Jan. 6. Federal agents were able to identify Keller, who stands 6-foot-6, with the help of former teammates and coaches. In the footage, he's also wearing a Team USA jacket.

If convicted on all charges, Keller faces as many as 11 years in prison.

Now a commercial real estate agent in Colorado, Keller has won five Olympic medals -- gold and bronze in Athens in 2004, another gold four years later in Beijing and silver and bronze at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney.

Keller had been working at Hoff & Leigh, but the real estate company said he has resigned.

U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee CEO Sarah Hirshland sent a letter to Team USA athletes condemning those who rioted at the Capitol, but did not specifically cite Keller by name or suggest his role in the event.

"I urge everyone associated with Team USA to continue to celebrate our diversity of background and beliefs, stand together against hatred and divisiveness, and use our influence to create positive change in our community," she wrote.


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