UPDATE: Northern Michigan Candidate for State House Accused of Sex Crimes
"On the whole, people liked him and this really is a shock. Quite a shock."
A candidate for State Representative and a local doctor — in trouble.
He's accused of sex crimes with a teen and tied to a large fraud investigation.
Dr. Vijay Kumar is a physical therapy provider in Ogemaw County.
He's also a candidate for state rep.
State Troopers arrested Dr. Kumar yesterday, saying he used his position to have sexual contact with a young teenager.
In addition to the sex crime charge in West Branch, State Police are also conducting a larger investigation on all of Kumar's clinics in the Ogemaw County area, looking for evidence of Medicare and insurance fraud.
In tonight's Top Story, 9&10's Cody Boyer and photojournalist Jeff Blakeman dug deeper into the charges and investigation involving Dr. Kumar.
Dr. Vijay Kumar was arrested yesterday for sex crimes against someone under the age of 16.
In a separate case, State Police seized evidence from all of his local clinics.
Kumar is also running for the Michigan House.
Endorsers say the news is shocking.
"I was rather surprised," says Gary Klacking. "Really shocking to hear about the charges yesterday."
Ogemaw County Clerk Gary Klacking recently endorsed Dr. Vijay Kumar's political campaign.
After the recent allegations, that has changed.
"About a month ago, Vijay asked for an endorsement from me and I did give him my endorsement," Klacking says. "It was done in good faith because of what I knew about him at that time. However, since that time, based on what has transpired, I'm withdrawing my endorsement."
According to court documents, Kumar "coerced the victim to submit to his/her authoritative position" to engage in sexual contact.
State Police say they are also investigating five of his local clinics for other crimes.
"There was evidence taken from the scene which I cannot elaborate on at this time, but I will tell you this is related to a Medicaid fraud, insurance fraud of false claims," says 1st Lt. Mel Mathews of the Michigan State Police, West Branch post.
Until the investigation bears fruit, troopers say Kumar maintains his innocence…
"There's still an ongoing investigation," Lt. Mathews says. "The suspect, which you are aware of, is innocent until proven guilty and the case is still ongoing."
…Those who know Kumar say the news is nothing but surprising.
"I know him personally and he's done a lot of good in the community," Klacking says. "He's involved in different organizations. He sits on the state board. He's contributed a lot to local causes. This really is a shock. quite a shock."
Kumar is out on bond with strict instructions to stay away from the victim in the case.
His first court date for the sex crime charge is three weeks from today on August 13.
Kumar's preliminary hearing is scheduled for August 20.
A doctor who's running for state representative is facing sex crime charges involving a minor.
State police arrested Vijay Kumar in West Branch for criminal sexual conduct.
Kumar is accused of sex crimes with someone underage.
He is a physician with a practice in Ogemaw County.
He's running for state representative for the 103rd District.
Northern Michigan’s News Leader has a crew in West Branch working to bring you more details behind this arrest.
Five physical therapy businesses owned by Kumar are being investigated for claims of Medicaid fraud, Medicare fraud and insurance health care fraud in a separate case. That investigation is ongoing, no arrests have been made and no charges have been filed.