Donald "Buz" Lukens (born February 11, 1931) in Middletown, Ohio, was a Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Ohio.
Lukens was born in Harveysburg, Ohio. He attended schools in Harveysburg and graduated from high school in Waynesville, Ohio. He earned a bachelor's degree from Ohio State University (Columbus, Ohio) in 1954. After finishing college, Lukens joined the U.S. Air Force, reaching the rank of captain after six-and-a-half years of active duty. Remaining a member of the Air Force Reserve, in 1961 Lukens accepted a job as minority counsel for the Republican staff of the House Rules Committee.
In 1966, Lukens won a seat in the United States House of Representatives, defeating Democrat James H. Pelley. He began serving in the House in 1967 (90th Congress). In 1968, Lukens won re-election, defeating Democrat Lloyd D. Miller. Lukens chose not to run again for the House seat in 1970. Instead, he made a run for Governor of Ohio. However, Lukens lost the Republican primary to Roger Cloud, who went on to lose the general election to Democrat John J. Gilligan.
Lukens then was elected to the Ohio Senate, serving as a state senator from 1971 to 1986. In 1986, incumbent U.S. Rep. Thomas N. Kindness did not stand for re-election for his seat (Kindness unsuccessfully tried to unseat incumbent U.S. Sen. John Glenn. Lukens ran to replace Kindness and defeated perennial Democratic candidate John W. Griffin. Lukens started serving this term in 1987 (101st Congress). In 1988, Lukens won re-election, defeating Griffin once again.
On February 1, 1989, an Ohio television station caught Lukens on camera at a Columbus, Ohio, McDonalds restaurant talking with Anna Coffman, the mother of Rosie Coffman, a teenage African-American girl. During the conversation he openly discussed having sexual relations with Rosie. Soon afterward, a grand jury brought him on charges of contributing to the delinquency of a minor because of allegations that he paid Rosie $40 and gifts in exchange for sex when she was 16 years old. (Further allegations had been made that the relationship with Coffman began when she was 13, but a grand jury declined to pursue further charges against Lukens other than the contributing to the delinquency of a minor charge.)
On May 26, 1989 a jury in the Franklin County Juvenile Court convicted Lukens of the misdemeanor crime of contributing to the delinquency of a minor for the paying of $40 to Coffman for sex in his Columbus apartment on November 6, 1988. (A friend of Ms. Coffman's, a 19 year old, accompanied her that day, but was not directly involved.)
Though Ohio's age of consent is 16 years old, Lukens conviction comes from a law which states that "no person shall...aid, abet, induce, cause, encourage or contribute to a child or ward of the juvenile court (into) becoming an unurly or (delinquent) child." (Text from Columbus Dispatch, Feb 24, 1989, Page 2A. This language is still found in Ohio Revised Code, Section 2919.24.)
Lunkens made an unsuccessful appeal to the Franklin County Court of Appeals. Of particular contention, Rosie Coffman had a considerable juvenile delinquency record (which included curfew violations, running away and petty theft) but this record (as well as a psychiatric report) were ruled inadmissable as evidence in the case. (She lived with her mother, but was a ward of the Juvenile Court.) Lunkens defense was that the juvenile record would show that Ms. Coffman was already a delinquent and not a reliable witness. (The reliability of her testimony was already under attack, as there were significant testimony inconsistencies, as noted by County Prosecutor Michael Miller.) (Dispatch, 2/24/89.)
"The appeals court discounted Tyack's (Lukens's attorney) contention that it was not possible to "cause or contribute" to a child becoming unruly if the child was already unruly. Using an anology, the court found that a person found guilty of polluting a river may not be the primary polluter but is still responsible for "contributing" to the pollution." (Columbus Dispatch, "Court Upholds sex convinction in Lukens case", June 13, 1990, Page 1A.)
Refusing to resign from his seat, despite the demands of the Republican leadership, Lukens lost the 1990 Republican primary to John A. Boehner. While serving out the remaining months of his congressional term, a Capitol elevator operator accused him of fondling her. Lukens resigned from Congress on October 24, 1990. He was ordered to serve thirty days in jail and see a psychologist, as well as be tested for veneareal diseases. (He actually served nine days in jail.)
In 1995, the task force investigating the House banking scandal charged him with five counts of bribery and conspiracy related to actions he took while in Congress. He was convicted in March 1996 after a second trial.
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