A grand jury returned an indictment charging Zachary Benson, 25, of Fairview Park, with one count of making threats against the President-Elect, said Carole S. Rendon, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio.
The indictment alleges that Benson threatened to take the life of, and inflict bodily harm to, the President-Elect of the United States, on November 9, 2016. Reports indicate Benson made his threat through Twitter in the early morning after the night of the November election.
If convicted, the defendant’s sentence will be determined by the Court after review of factors unique to his case, including the defendant’s prior criminal record, if any, the defendant’s role in the offense, and the characteristics of the violation. In all cases, the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum and in most cases it will be less than the maximum.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Karrie D. Howard, and was investigated by the United States Secret Service.
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.