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Northeast Ohio judge indicted in assault of wife

August 27, 2014
Associated Press

CLEVELAND (AP) — Lance Mason was once considered a politician on the rise in Cuyahoga County. His resume was impeccable: assistant county prosecutor, top aide to an influential Democratic congresswoman, an attorney in private practice, a state representative, a state senator and finally, a common pleas judge.

But that career is in a spiral after an indictment Tuesday on charges related to what police say was a vicious attack against his estranged wife while driving through a Cleveland suburb. Charges against the 47-year-old Mason include felonious assault, kidnapping, domestic violence and child endangering because the couple's two young children were in the vehicle.

Police say Aisha Mason had to be treated for a broken bone around her eye, bites and cuts she said her husband inflicted. The couple had been separated for months, but Aisha Mason filed for divorce two days after the Aug. 2 incident. According to audio of her 911 call, Aisha Mason says was using a stranger's cellphone to report she had been beaten and forced out of the car by her husband and that he had driven off with the couple's two young daughters in the back seat.

Lance Mason's attorney, Fernando Mack, did not return telephone calls Wednesday.

According to a ruling written by Visiting Judge Patricia Cosgrove, Mack tried to negotiate an agreement with prosecutors to have Mason charged in an information instead of indicted by a grand jury. Mack and the prosecutors could not agree on the number of charges or how the case would be resolved, the judge wrote.

Mack then asked that Cuyahoga County prosecutors be removed and a special prosecutor assigned to his client's case. Cosgrove denied that request on Tuesday, which prompted an appeal by Mason's attorney on Wednesday to have the decision overturned.

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