Sandusky man charged with making a false distress call
A federal grand jury has returned an indictment charging Danik Shiv Kumar, age 20, of Sandusky, Ohio, with one count of false distress message to the United States Coast Guard, said Steven M. Dettelbach, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio.
The indictment charges that on March 14, 2012, Kumar communicated a distress message to the United States Coast Guard and caused the Coast Guard to attempt to save lives and property, when no help was needed.
The case was investigated by the United States Coast Guard and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michelle M. Baeppler and Lt. Michael C. Petta, a Coast Guard officer who has been designated as a Special Assistant United States Attorney.
If convicted, the defendant’s sentence will be determined by the court after a review of factors unique to the case, including the defendant’s prior criminal record, if any, the defendant’s role in the offenses, and the characteristics of the violations. In all cases the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum and in most cases it will be less than the maximum.
An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.