I own the pizza shop Comet Ping Pong. It’s in a residential section of Northwest D.C. that feels like small-town America. On the same block as my restaurant, you’ll find a market, a beloved bookstore, a paint store, a firehouse, a gas station. We know our customers, and we know each other.

Sadly, many people who don’t know me or my neighborhood cling to an absurd lie: that I and political figures including Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and her campaign chairman, John Podesta, run a child-slavery ring out of Comet’s basement.

Last month, one of those people, Edgar Maddison Welch, pleaded guilty to local and federal charges stemming from the day last year when he showed up at my pizza shop wielding an assault rifle and a .38-caliber handgun. He was following calls by conspiracy theorists for a “self-investigation” of the concocted sex ring.