Sentencing in U.S. District Court in Washington has been set for March 6. The judge, who is not bound by the agreement, ordered the probation office to make its own sentencing recommendation.
Jaselskis, also known as Ryan Rimas, pleaded guilty to arson and assault on a federal law enforcement officer. Police said he struggled with a U.S. Park Police officer during his arrest at the Washington Monument nearly two weeks after the fire. His attorney declined to comment.
Jaselskis admitted to setting the fire with lighter fluid in the restaurant’s game room that at the time was occupied by children playing ping-pong and several adults. Two patrons and an employee extinguished the fire, and no injuries were reported. The restaurant is in the 5000 block of Connecticut Avenue NW.
Police and court documents do not state a motive.
The pizza restaurant was targeted in 2016 by a North Carolina man who showed up there with a fully loaded AR-15 semiautomatic rifle and a revolver seeking to investigate a viral Internet rumor known as “Pizzagate.” That conspiracy theory falsely linked 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton to an alleged child-sex-trafficking ring and asserted that children were being held in tunnels under the restaurant.