An Ohio teen charged with impersonating a state senator was trying to make a political statement, his lawyer, Andrew Wick, says, the Washington Post reports.
Wick described his client Izaha Akins as an “ambitous young person” who was attempting political activism by raising awareness about security risks in small-town schools. Wick says Akins, a student at Ohio State University at Marion, planned to write a paper about the topic.
“These country schools think it can’t happen to them,” Akins told the Toledo Blade. “I was duping to prove a point, that these kinds of things can happen. They could easily have Googled me and they didn’t.”
Except, according to the Post, Akins never said such a thing to police, according to Wyandot County Sheriff Mike Hetzel.
Akins drew attention after being arrested a month after showing up at a Sycamore, Ohio, high school claiming that he was a newly elected state senator appointed to replace Republican state Sen. Dave Burke. Akins even showed up with a driver and two “aides.” Akins said that he would fill in for Burke as a guest speaker for a social studies class at Mohawk High School.
“The presentation, although not ‘polished,’ was what one might expect from a young, inexperienced and newly appointed senator,” Mohawk Local School District Superintendent Ken Ratliff said in a statement. “No one was the wiser.”
That is until Burke showed up to speak about a month later. Akins was taken into custody after the trick was uncovered and was charged with telecommunications fraud and impersonation of a peace officer, which includes government workers, the Post reports.