Lukens Indicted on Charge Involving Sex With Minor

From Times Wire Services

U.S. Rep. Donald E. Lukens was indicted by a grand jury today on a charge stemming from allegations that he had sex with a teen-age girl.

The Franklin County prosecutor's office said the 57-year-old Lukens, a former national president of the Young Republicans, was charged on one count of contributing to the delinquency of a child, a misdemeanor.

In a statement issued by his office in Washington, the four-term congressman said: "I do categorically deny that I contributed to the delinquency and unruliness of a minor at any time."

The prosecutor's office said the indictment resulted from allegations that Lukens had sex with the girl in 1985 when she was 13, and again last year. The girl is now 17.

Divorced in 1983

The incidents allegedly occurred at an apartment in Columbus where the congressman lived. He was divorced from his wife in 1983.

Franklin County Prosecutor Michael Miller said the grand jury declined to return an indictment involving an alleged incident in 1985, which would have been a felony because the girl was younger, because of conflicting testimony.

Lukens could face 180 days in jail and a fine if convicted.

Columbus television station WSYX on Feb. 1 broadcast a videotape that shows Lukens apparently offering a job to the girl's mother after she asked him why he was "messin' around" with her daughter.

'Didn't Really Know'

In the tape Lukens replied: "I didn't really know she was a teen-ager. I didn't know that, no. I do now, of course."

The station said it secretly videotaped the Nov. 11 meeting between Lukens and Anna Coffman at a fast-food restaurant in Columbus.

The FBI reviewed the tape and said it found no evidence of bribery or extortion.

Lukens served in Congress from 1967 to 1971 when he dropped out to make an unsuccessful run for governor of Ohio. He returned to the House in 1986.

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