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Judge Lance Mason indicted for assault on wife

Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Lance T. Mason has been indicted for an Aug. 2 attack on his wife
Lance Mason

CLEVELAND -- Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Lance T. Mason has been indicted for an Aug. 2 attack on his wife, Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty announced Tuesday afternoon.

A Cuyahoga County Grand Jury indicted Mason, 47, on two counts of kidnapping, a first-degree felony; three counts of felonious assault, a second-degree felony; one count of domestic violence, a first-degree misdemeanor; and two counts of endangering children, a first-degree misdemeanor.

His arraignment is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Sept. 10.

Earlier Tuesday, visiting Judge Patricia Cosgrove denied the request from Mason that a special prosecutor be appointed to handle the felonious assault case involving Mason and his wife.

Cosgrove was appointed by the Ohio Supreme Court after all of the Cuyahoga County judges recused themselves from hearing a case involving one of their own.

Last week, Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty says negotiations for a plea deal with Mason broke down after he was told that any plea would involve some jail time.

In a brief statement released Aug. 8, Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court Administrative and Presiding Judge John J. Russo said "Based on pending legal matters, I am appointing visiting Judge Ronald Suster to handle Judge Lance T. Mason's civil and criminal cases effective Monday, August 11."

Mason has been arraigned and posted bond.

According to the Ohio Supreme Court, a judge must be indicted on felony charges -- not just arrested -- in order to be removed from the bench.

Now that Mason is indicted, the Ohio Supreme Court late Tuesday afternoon announced that Mason is hereby disqualified from acting like a judge while the charges are pending.

He would continue to receive his pay of $121,350.

A temporary protection order prohibits him having any contact with his wife and two children, 4 and 6.

Mason, 46, of Cleveland, who is also a former Democratic member of the Ohio Senate and represented the 25th District from 2007 to 2008, is accused of attacking his wife Aisha Mason just after noon Aug. 2 while they were driving in their car with their two children on Van Aken Boulevard.

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Court documents reflect that Mason hit his wife with his fists, slammed her head against the dashboard and bit her.

They have been married since 2005 and separated this past March.

In a 9-1-1 call, his wife told dispatchers he threw her out of the car, beat her and then drove off with the children.

Cuyahoga County Domestic Relations Court records show that Aisha Mason filed for divorce Aug. 4, citing extreme cruelty and gross neglect of duty.

Her attorney of record is Joyce Barrett and the case was assigned to Domestic Relations Judge Rosemary Grdina Gold..

Mason is represented by attorney Fernando Mack.

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