High school referee, ex-con accused of child rape in Troy a ‘blue chip official’

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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High school referee, ex-con accused of child rape in Troy a ‘blue chip official’

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

UPDATE @ 5 p.m. (June 28)

A former Ohio High School Athletic Association supervisor for Henry Lucas described him as a “blue chip official.”

Kevin Forrer, who heads the Greater Western Ohio Conference, spoke Wednesday in reaction to the charges against Lucas, 52, who is accused of a sex crime in March involving a juvenile in Troy.

"He's one of the best officials in the area ... has been to state multiple times, which is voted on through a large panel process, not only by the coaches but by the athletic directors, the schools, the assigners and by a number of associations," Forrer said.

Lucas is likable and good at his job, which is why he was so well respected as an official, he said.

"It has been very tough, this is a situation that you never want to see anyone involved in," Forrer said of the accusations against Lucas. "It's been very tough because I know all the parties involved."

Once Forrer is made aware of an arrest or charges filed against one of the 1,000 officials he oversees, he is required to notify OHSAA, which he did, Forrer said.

Officials typically are on the schedule between 18 months and 2 years out, and Lucas was on that long-term schedule. He has since been removed, said Forrer, who added that officials at sporting events are never alone with minors and that their interaction is typically in front of big crowds.

FIRST REPORT

A Troy man accused of raping a juvenile is no longer eligible to officiate after the Ohio High School Athletic Association suspended his license after his arrest earlier this month, an OHSAA spokesman said Tuesday.

Henry Lucas Jr., 52, was arrested June 5 after he turned himself in to Troy police, according to an affidavit filed in Miami County Municipal Court. Lucas is charged with a felony count of rape, and he made an initial appearance in court June 6, where his bond was set at $400,000, according to court records. The victim is known to Lucas.

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Lucas’ license was previously suspended in 2011 after he was convicted on a felony drug charge and sentenced to prison in September 2010, the OHSAA said.

The OHSAA initially approved Lucas’ officiating license in 2001, and he was listed as having an active license until Aug. 1, 2011, when the athletic association first suspended it, said Ben Ferree, assistant director of officiating and sport management for OHSAA.

“We do not believe he was officiating after his September 2010 conviction,” Ferree said.

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On Sept. 2, 2010, Lucas was convicted for using deception to obtain an illegal drug and was sentenced to a year in the London Correctional Institution, according to court records.

Lucas was released from prison on Aug. 26, 2011, according to a spokesperson for the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction.

Ferree said Lucas, who officiated football and basketball, appealed the suspension of his license following his drug conviction.

According to the OHSAA handbook for officials, an officiating permit will not be issued or reinstated for anyone convicted in regard to any felony offense unless/until such offense has been reversed by proper authority.

Ferree said, “People with convictions on their record that would be denied per the Handbook can appeal to obtain a license.”

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Lucas’ permit was reinstated in October 2012 based on an appeal to the OHSAA board of directors, Ferree said. “The board approved his appeal based on multiple letters of recommendation from school personnel and community members in the Dayton area.”

This news organization inquired about the letters of recommendations OHSAA said they received, however, Ferree said, “I do not have copies in his file.” OHSAA also said they don’t share personnel files of officials.

“Additionally, everyone in the officiating department from that time has since retired. Since 2012 we have a new Director of Officiating, and all new support staff for that department. We do not know where the letters came from as we have never seen them personally,” Ferree said in an email to reporter Sean Cudahy.

Lucas waived a preliminary hearing June 17 for the incident alleged to have happened in March. The case will be reviewed by a Miami County grand jury, according to court records.

The 52-year-old remained in the Miami County Jail Tuesday morning on a $400,000 bond.

A call to his lawyer seeking comments has not been returned.

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