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Huntington Beach activist Kim Sorgente pleads not guilty to 2 felony assault counts

Kim Sorgente speaks at a meeting of the Orange County Board of Supervisors on Aug. 11, 2020.
(File Photo)

Huntington Beach resident Kim Michael Sorgente was arrested last week and charged with two felony counts of assault with a deadly weapon other than a firearm.

Sorgente, 50, pleaded not guilty to both counts at his arraignment on Thursday in Orange County Superior Court. He is being held on $150,000 bail at the Theo Lacy Facility jail in Orange.

The judge increased the bail from $25,000 to $125,000 at the arraignment after prosecutors said that the FBI could be looking for Sorgente, a far-right activist, for his role in the U.S. Capitol insurrection on Jan. 6.

Orange County Dist. Atty. public information officer Kimberly Edds referred questions to the FBI on Monday, and FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said there was no federal arrest warrant for Sorgente.

“Our policy is that we don’t confirm or deny investigations,” Eimiller said.

However, two photos posted by the FBI on social media on March 18 are believed by multiple sources to show Sorgente.

Ocean View School District Trustee Gina Clayton-Tarvin, who said Sorgente is her constituent in the district, said Monday that she submitted an online tip to the FBI that the man in the photos was Sorgente.

Sorgente was arrested by the Santa Ana Police Department on March 23 on suspicion of attacking two people at a “Stop the Steal” rally supporting President Donald Trump on Dec. 6, 2020, in Santa Ana. Video online shows a man believed to be Sorgente swinging a large white bullhorn at two men during a skirmish.

Sorgente would often carry a bullhorn to events. He is shown with it in an August 2020 video outside the home of Costa Mesa Mayor Katrina Foley, protesting the city’s mask mandates.

He can be seen in online videos attending a “California Freedom Rally” in Huntington Beach on March 20, two days before his arrest.

Clayton-Tarvin said Sorgente started targeting her in 2017, coming to Ocean View School District board meetings with other alt-right leaders in Orange County. She said he accused her of running a sanctuary school district and harboring illegal immigrants.

The following year, she said he showed up with his bullhorn to protest a political rally for Gov. Gavin Newsom, who was a candidate at the time, at Meadow View Elementary School. The event was hosted by local advocacy group HB Huddle.

“He has a long history of causing major trouble,” Clayton-Tarvin said.

Sorgente is next due in court on April 8 at 8:30 a.m. in courtroom CS7, for a pretrial mandatory settlement conference.

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