Ahlam M. Mohsen, 23, of Coldwater, and Max B. Kantar, 23, of Big Rapids, were charged last week in a two-count indictment by a federal grand jury for assaulting U.S. Senator Carl Levin in August, U.S. Attorney Donald A. Davis announced.
The charges stem from an incident that took place during the Senator’s meeting with his constituents at a café and delicatessen in Big Rapids, Michigan, on August 16, 2010. The media widely reported at the time that, immediately after an individual read a statement to Senator Levin accusing him and other senators of war crimes, Mohsen struck the Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman in the face with a pie.
The first count of the indictment alleges that the two forcibly assaulted, and aided and abetted each other in assaulting, the Senator in a manner that involved physical contact while the Senator was engaged in, and on account of, the performance of his duties. This count is a felony punishable by up to eight years in prison. The second count is a misdemeanor assault charge, punishable by up to one year in prison. The second count references the same incident as the first count; however, it is a charge that does not require the government to prove either that the defendants physically contacted the Senator or that they assaulted him while he was engaged in or on account of the performance of his official duties.
“My office will vigorously enforce the laws that ensure the leaders we freely choose in open elections can meet with their constituents to exchange views without fear of assault and physical reprisal,” explained U.S. Attorney Davis.
The case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation as well as the Big Rapids Department of Public Safety.
The charges in an indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law.