Former OHSAA referee sentenced to five years for sex offense

A Miami County judge Tuesday sentenced a former Ohio High School Athletic Association official from Troy to five years in prison for having sexual contact with a teenage girl, saying Henry A. Lucas Jr. had a dark side not seen by many.

Lucas, 55, pleaded guilty Sept. 25 to felony gross imposition in a plea deal that included the charge amended from first degree rape and a recommended maximum sentence of five years.

He was accused of forcefully engaging in sexual contact with the 15-year-old girl he knew in March 2017.

Lucas was a long-time official for the OHSAA, officiating basketball and football. His officiating license was suspended following his indictment in 2017.

The first rape case was dismissed last year due to difficulties with lawyers and schedules and Lucas was indicted again early this year.

Lucas apologized to the young woman and her relatives in court saying they did nothing wrong. “This is on me. Nobody else,” he said.

The young woman told Judge Stacy Wall she was humiliated by Lucas and his actions. “I forgive Henry Lucas but will never forget the pain he caused me,” she said.

Defense lawyer Jon Paul Rion pointed to a series of letters sent to Wall from family, friends and others vouching for Lucas and good acts he had done for people over the years. He asked her to consider Lucas was “a person with good qualities as well.”

While letters portrayed a man who appeared to be a “saint” by buying children shoes and mowing lawns for others, Wall said his record showed a pattern of violence.

She said Lucas was likely to reoffend and had several convictions including a sex offense in 1992 along with charges of domestic violence and assault that were amended before a 2010 conviction for deception to obtain dangerous drugs. That case led to a year in prison.

“You are a person who has flown under the radar to many people,” Wall said. “Everybody on the outside didn’t see that.”

Lucas was classified a Tier II sex offender, which will require registration of his address for 25 years with the sheriff in the county he lives following prison release.

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