MIAMI COUNTY — After more than an hour of negotiations prior to a planned jury trial, Henry Lucas, 54, of Troy, entered a guilty plea by way of a bill of information to third-degree felony gross sexual imposition in Miami County Common Pleas Court.
Judge Stacy Wall asked Lucas several times throughout the hearing if he was entering the guilty plea voluntarily after Lucas hesitated several times, including looking behind him at his family, during the arraignment process. Wall asked Lucas why he was pleading guilty. Lucas said he was entering the plea of guilty on the advice of his family and attorney Jon Paul Rion and had communicated with his lawyer prior to accepting the plea agreement.
A joint plea agreement was reached for Lucas to serve five years in prison, although the court does not have to follow the recommendation.
A third-degree felony gross sexual imposition of a minor under the age of 13 carries a 12-60 month prison sentence and a fine up to $10,000. According to reports, Lucas allegedly pinned a 15-year-old female victim against the wall and shoved his hand down the victim’s pants, sexually assaulted her by hand, and then left the home in Troy. The victim stated she didn’t tell an adult until two months later. The alleged assault occurred in March 2017.
Lucas will be sentenced on Oct. 31. His bond was revoked, and he was incarcerated following the hearing.
Miami County Prosecutor Paul Watkins disclosed Lucas had violated conditions of a civil protection order on two occasions, the most recent incident was at the Vandalia McDonald’s several week earlier. Conditions of his prior bond was to comply with the protection order and to have no contact with the victim or the victim’s family.
“He’s a danger to himself and the community, and the only place for him is in Miami County Jail,” Watkins said.
Following the hearing, Wall addressed the potential trial jurors and thanked them for their patience and for their service.
Upon sentencing, Lucas will register as a Tier II sex offender and must register every 180 days for the next 25 years. He was ordered to complete a pre-sentence investigation. As part of the registry, Lucas cannot reside within 1,000 feet of a school premise.
Last February, Lucas was arraigned on a grand jury indictment charging him with first-degree felony rape and third-degree felony tampering with evidence. Wall said the court would not dismiss the grand jury indictment of first degree-felony rape and one count of tampering with evidence charges until sentencing.
The original case was dismissed last September, days before a jury trial was set to begin, by the Miami County Prosecutor’s Office due Watkins not being able to attend the jury trial due to unforeseen circumstances. The prosecutor’s office was denied a continuance, and the charges were presented to a grand jury last January.
Reach Melanie Yingst at email@example.com
© 2019 Miami Valley Today; all rights reserved.