NATIONAL NEWS

Judge finds former Ohio lawmaker guilty of domestic violence in incident involving his wife

Oct 26, 2023, 9:55 AM

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio judge found former Republican state Rep. Bob Young guilty on domestic violence charges Thursday over an incident involving his wife in the summer.

Judge Edward O’Farrell found Young, who waived his right to a jury trial and instead left his fate in the hands of the judge, “guilty beyond a reasonable doubt” of causing physical harm to his wife, but not guilty of an assault charge in a later confrontation with his brother over striking his wife.

Attorneys for Young did not immediately respond to request for comment Thursday.

In July, a grand jury indicted the Summit County representative on domestic violence and assault charges after he allegedly struck his wife in the face and threw her phone in their pool to prevent her from calling 911. When she sought safe haven at Young’s brother’s home, Young followed her and charged his brother after he refused to let him inside, resulting in a shattered glass door and injuries to both men, authorities said.

Young’s wife testified against him during his day-long trial Tuesday, telling the court that Young struck her in the face so hard she could not hear out of one of her ears, the Akron Beacon Journal reported. She also said she was afraid to call 911 because she fears her husband.

Young denied intentionally hitting his wife when questioned.

Young was arrested for a second time in late August on allegations that he violated a protective order by leaving multiple voicemails for his wife and a third time on stalking charges in September for placing a GPS tracking device on a relative’s car. He was released on his own recognizance but was instructed to wear an ankle monitor.

Young will likely be tried at a later date on those charges but could decide to plead guilty following the judge’s Thursday verdict.

Despite urging from Democrats and over 30 fellow Republicans, including GOP House Speaker Jason Stephens and Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, Young previously refused to give up his position as a lawmaker.

Because the charges against him are misdemeanors and not felonies, Young was allowed to maintain his seat. However, days after being stripped from his leadership role as a committee chair, he resigned.

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Samantha Hendrickson is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.

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Judge finds former Ohio lawmaker guilty of domestic violence in incident involving his wife