Story by: Walter Smith-Randolph
COLUMBUS, Ohio (WKRC) – Ohio lawmakers are looking to change the way domestic violence cases are handled. “Aisha’s Law” would increase protections for victims plus crack down on offenders.
The bill is named for Aisha Fraser. She was allegedly stabbed to death by her estranged husband, former judge Lance Mason, near Cleveland. Mason has a previous domestic violence conviction.
If passed, Aisha’s Law would ensure repeat violent offenders do not plead to a lesser crime like disorderly conduct. If police are called to a domestic violence scene, law enforcement must conduct a screening. If that screening shows a serious problem, police and social workers would then check in with the abuser and the victim.
Local domestic violence advocates applaud the bill.
“I think this is a really important step forward as a state and a community that we can make in doing better to protect the most vulnerable victims and survivors in our community and to better manage offenders,” said Angela Inglis, director of domestic violence services at the YWCA in Cincinnati.
The YWCA is currently working to build a domestic violence center downtown where victims can get the services they need. Aisha’s Law has been introduced in the Ohio legislature and is awaiting a committee assignment.
Lance Mason is being held on $5 million bail at the Cuyahoga County Jail.