Criminal Justice

Judge accused of punching, choking and biting his wife is indicted and put on leave


An Ohio judge accused of punching, biting and choking his wife in an attack that put her in the hospital with a fractured orbital bone and other injuries earlier this month has been indicted and put on paid leave.

Judge Lance Mason, who sits in Cuyahoga County, was indicted by a grand jury Tuesday on felony and misdemeanor charges including kidnapping, felonious assault, child endangering and domestic violence, the Plain Dealer reports. At least part of the alleged attack took place while the couple was driving, with their young children in the back seat, in Shaker Heights.

Because of the indictment, the state supreme court announced Tuesday that Mason, who has not been on the bench since the Aug. 2 incident, would be disqualified from hearing cases while the prosecution is pending but will continue to receive his annual salary of $121,000, according to the newspaper and Court News Ohio.

Mason’s request for a special prosecutor in the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court case was denied, but a visiting judge from outside the county is overseeing the case, WKYC reports.

Tuesday was Mason’s 47th birthday.

The Plain Dealer was not immediately successful in its effort to reach Mason’s lawyer, Fernando Mack.

Mason’s wife, Aisha Fraser Mason, filed for divorce earlier this month.

Masonis accused in court documents of punching his wife with his fists, slamming her head against the dashboard and biting her, WKYC reports. She said in a 911 call that the judge then forced her out of the vehicle and drove away with their children.

He is banned by a temporary protective order from contacting her and the children.

See also:

ABAJournal.com: “Judge is charged with felonious assault, accused of punching, choking and biting his wife”

ABAJournal.com: “Jailed judge posts $6K bond in domestic case, is at ‘low risk’ of harming others, psychologist says”

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