A Broadway actor has been arrested and charged with participating in the January 6 riots on Capitol Hill, the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the District of Columbia said. James D. Beeks, 49, of Orlando, Florida, was arrested Tuesday in Milwaukee while reportedly on tour with a production of Jesus Christ Superstar, in which he played the role of Judas.
James D. Beeks, who uses the stage name James T. Justis, faces charges of obstruction of Congress, which is a felony, and a misdemeanor charge of unlawfully entering a restricted building or grounds. He made his initial appearance in a federal court in Wisconsin and was released pending further court proceedings.
Federal prosecutors are alleging just prior to the riot, Beeks joined with a group of Oath Keepers while walking from the Ellipse to the Capitol. While others wore camouflage attire, the defendant was allegedly wearing a Michael Jackson “BAD” world tour jacket and a black helmet, and was carrying what appeared to be a homemade black shield.
Once inside the Capitol, Beeks was allegedly part of a group that tried to push its way through a line of law enforcement officers guarding a hallway that led to the Senate chamber, but was repelled by law enforcement. Beeks and others with him then regrouped in the Rotunda and then left the building at approximately 3:04 p.m, prosecutors maintain.
The actor has been suspended from the North American touring production of Jesus Christ Superstar pending the investigation, according a report from Deadline. It remains unclear if the tour will proceed as scheduled, with future stops including Toronto, Boston, and Indianapolis.
The tour is scheduled to run at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., starting February 22.
Beeks’ Broadway credits include the replacement casts for the musicals Kinky Boots, Smokey Joe’s Cafe, and Disney’s Aida. Deadline also reported Beeks worked as a Michael Jackson impersonator.
Last week, a judge sentenced Jacob Chansley, known as the “QAnon Shaman,” to 41 months in prison, or nearly three and a half years.