Former high school referee pleads guilty in sex case involving child



A Troy man and former Ohio High School Athletic Association official scheduled to go on trial Wednesday for rape in Miami County instead pleaded guilty to a charge of gross sexual imposition in a plea agreement that included a recommended sentence of five years in prison.

Henry A. Lucas, 54, made the plea in Common Pleas Court before Judge Stacy Wall, who revoked his recognizance bond and ordered him jailed until sentencing Oct. 31.

Lucas initially was indicted for rape and tampering with evidence, accused of engaging in sexual contact with a girl in Troy between March 11 and March 15, 2017, and then allegedly knowingly attempting to mislead an investigation.

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During Wednesday’s hearing, Lucas pleaded to a new count of gross sexual imposition, a third-degree felony that carries up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. The charge said he engaged in sexual conduct with a person younger than 13.

Potential jurors waited while negotiations for a plea continued Wednesday morning. At the hearing, Wall asked Lucas if the plea was made voluntarily. He hesitated and looked at family members in the gallery before answering, “yes.”

Lucas was a longtime football and basketball official for the OHSAA. The license was suspended following his indictment in 2017. That case was dismissed last year with Lucas indicted again early this year.

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His bail conditions included having no contact with the victim or her family. Paul Watkins, first assistant county prosecutor, told Wall that Lucas was charged once while the case was pending with violating a separate protection order and the victim and family reported a second alleged violation recently but charges were not pursued.

Defense lawyer Jon Paul Rion asked Wall to give Lucas time to get his affairs in order before sentencing, noting Lucas had appeared for all court hearing the past two years.

Wall revoked the bail. She said Lucas will be classified as a Tier II sex offender, which will require registration of his address with the sheriff for 25 years.

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