Criminal Justice

Judge is charged with felonious assault, accused of punching, choking and biting his wife


Updated: An Ohio common pleas court judge was arrested Saturday in a domestic violence case after he allegedly punched, choked and bit his wife.

Judge Lance Mason, 46, who sits in Cuyahoga County, was not on the bench Monday. Instead, he appeared in Shaker Heights municipal court today as a defendant, charged with felonious assault, reports Northeast Ohio Media Group in an article published by the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

His wife of eight years was hospitalized for treatment of facial injuries including a fractured orbital bone but has been released from the medical center, reports the newspaper.

According to court records, a prosecutor accused Mason of punching, choking and biting his wife after an argument escalated Saturday as they were driving in Shaker Heights. The prosecutor said the wife sustained “serious facial injuries,” Fox 8 and the newspaper report.

Mason’s arrest at his Cleveland home followed at least one 911 call about an altercation in a vehicle, the newspaper and WOIO say.

A woman exiting a train station called police about a sport-utility vehicle with a woman at the wheel in which she saw “fists flying,” the Plain Dealer reports. The SUV braked suddenly, swerved across multiple lanes, narrowly missing several cars, and the horn honked repeatedly, the caller told 911.

The judge set bond Monday at $65,000, according to a live broadcast of the hearing by WOIO. The judge also issued a protective order requiring Mason to have no contact with his wife and children until further order of the court. Mason posted 6,525 bond on Wednesday.

A later post by the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported that if Mason is indicted by a grand jury, he will be required to step down from the bench while his case is pending.

Appointed to the bench in 2008 by the state’s governor, Mason is a former assistant county prosecutor and state lawmaker.

Updated Aug. 8 to include information from links to subsequent coverage.

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