Ohio lawmakers propose domestic violence prevention bill after representative charged with abuse

By: - July 12, 2023 4:40 am

State Representative Bob Young (R-Green). Photo from TheOhioChannel.org.

Ohio lawmakers plan to introduce legislation to prevent domestic violence following the arrest of one of their colleagues.

Northeast Ohio Rep. Bob Young (R-Green) was charged Saturday with domestic violence and disrupting public services after a warrant was issued for his arrest, according to Barberton Municipal Court records. Young faces at least one first-degree misdemeanor domestic violence charge and a fourth-degree felony charge of disrupting public service.

Young is currently serving his second term in the House, but the speaker has just asked him to resign.

According to a Summit County Sheriff’s Office report, the North Canton lawmaker struck the victim in the face with an open hand. The report also states he lowered his shoulder and charged at another individual. During the altercation, one person was cut with broken glass. Someone tried to call 911, but Young threw the person’s phone into a pool.

OCJ/WEWS reached out to Young, and his attorney called back, saying he didn’t have a comment at this time. However, he did note that he hadn’t received many of the documents yet, so he was going to wait. He said he may speak about it at a later date.

On Thursday evening, Young held a fundraiser with Speaker Jason Stephens (R-Kitts Hill) as the special guest.

“Last week, I attended his fundraiser, and then afterward went to his home with friends and his family,” Stephens told OCJ/WEWS. “After a couple of hours, I left his home and spent the night at a local hotel.”

Stephens added in a statement the alleged incident occurred after he left the home.

“I was disappointed and shocked to hear what allegedly transpired sometime after I had left the Young house.”

Court documents allege “Robert Young did knowingly cause, or attempt to cause physical harm to victim, a family or household member.”

He was in court Saturday and given a $5,000 bond for the domestic violence charge, with the document citing it was “subject to TPO and CRPO.” Domestic Violence Temporary Protection Order (DVTPO) or a Criminal Protection Order (CRPO) orders the defendant to not be near or make contact with the victim.

“Although I believe that people are innocent until proven guilty, I asked Bob for his resignation as state representative so he can focus on his family at this time,” Stephens said.

State Rep. Juanita Brent (D-Cleveland) is glad the speaker asked for Young’s resignation.

“People need to know that justice is being carried out no matter if you are a state legislator like myself or this everyday person — people have to be able to see that justice is occurring and no one should have to deal with domestic violence,” Brent said.

State Rep. Josh Williams (R-Oregon) argues that this seems premature. Williams is an attorney.

“I don’t want to jump the gun as it pertains to Rep. Young,” Williams said. “As a defense attorney, I want my client to have the benefit of innocent until proven guilty.”

Who is Bob Young?

He represents the southern portions of Summit County. Taking office in 2021, the lawmaker works across the aisle on bills relating to finances. He is the chair of the Pensions Committee but also runs a small business in Akron.

He is currently married and has children.

Young is also being sued by a former House competitor. An ad that Young and the Ohio GOP created accused the Democratic opponent of being guilty of domestic abuse. The rival has not been charged or convicted of domestic violence.

“It is ironic,” Williams said. “I don’t like attack ads that go down that realm.”

It wasn’t just ironic for Williams — but also for the opponent Matt Shaughnessy.

“I’m actually saddened to hear of these allegations. Is it ironic that the guy who accused me of being guilty of domestic violence? Absolutely,” Shaughnessy said. “But domestic violence always has victims and my thoughts and prayers go out to Mr. Young’s family right now.”

Shaughnessy is seeking in excess of a million dollars in both general and punitive damages, he said.

Domestic violence prevention

Brent and state Rep. Sara Carruthers (R-Hamilton) are reintroducing a bill to combat domestic violence due to Young, she said. It would give additional training to police on how to detect abuse.

This bill is the remnant of Aisha’s Law — a bill named after Aisha Fraser — that would provide more protections for domestic violence survivors.

Fraser was the Shaker Heights teacher killed in November 2018 by her ex-husband, Lance Mason, a former Cuyahoga County judge and state legislator. Mason was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 35 years.

Only part of the bill was passed in the previous General Assembly.

“We cannot keep talking about prayers and responses for those affected by domestic violence,” Brent said. “The state of Ohio needs to make that change and pass this law.”


This article was originally published on News5Cleveland.com and is published in the Ohio Capital Journal under a content-sharing agreement. Unlike other OCJ articles, it is not available for free republication by other news outlets as it is owned by WEWS in Cleveland.



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Morgan Trau
Morgan Trau

Morgan Trau is a political reporter and multimedia journalist based out of the WEWS Columbus Bureau. A graduate of Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, Trau has previously worked as an investigative, political and fact-checking reporter in Grand Rapids, Mich. at WZZM-TV; a reporter and MMJ in Spokane, Wash. at KREM-TV and has interned at 60 Minutes and worked for CBS Interactive and PBS NewsHour.