Rep. Donald E. (Buz) Lukens (R-Ohio) was sentenced Friday to 30 days in jail and fined $500 for having sex with a 16-year-old girl last year.
“This court is particularly struck by the unwillingness of the defendant to recognize that he was not the victim,” Franklin County Domestic Relations Judge Ronald Solove said, adding that he could not excuse Lukens’ contention that he was “somehow seduced by a child.”
Lukens’ face appeared ashen as Solove sentenced him to the maximum penalty on the misdemeanor charge of contributing to the unruliness of a child--180 days in jail and a fine of $1,000. The judge then suspended all but 30 days of the sentence and $500 of the fine and placed Lukens on probation for one year.
The terms of probation require Lukens to participate in sex offender programs and submit to testing for sexually transmitted diseases.
Lukens, 58, who is divorced, allegedly paid Rosie Coffman of Columbus $40 to have sex with him at his Columbus apartment on Nov. 6. He was convicted May 26.
Lukens left the courtroom without commenting to reporters. His spokesman, Bill Jarrell, said by phone that “it’s absurd for someone to expect to show remorse for something they’re innocent of.” Lukens went free on $10,000 bond, pending appeal.
Coffman, now 17, could not be reached for comment. Her mother, Anna Coffman, was in the courtroom and showed no emotion as the sentence was read.
Allegations that Lukens had sex with Rosie Coffman surfaced in February when a Columbus TV station broadcast a tape of a Nov. 11 meeting between Lukens and Anna Coffman.
The conviction on a misdemeanor count does not automatically bar Lukens from remaining in Congress. But Ohio Republican Party Chairman Robert Bennett on June 1 called for Lukens to resign from Congress and the Ohio Republican State Committee.
In addition, the House Ethics Committee has been asked to investigate the case.