Lyons is the Butler County judge who took the guilty plea from the former Miami University student who posted the “Top Ten Ways to Get Away with Rape” flier in a dormitory bathroom. Lyons sealed the file in November, shielding the young man’s name from public view. Facing an Ohio Supreme Court challenge from the Cincinnati Enquirer, the judge dropped the disorderly conduct rap a month later and sealed the case again.
recounts those events in a deposition taken by Enquirer lawyer Jack
For starters, he swears he doesn’t remember the defendant’s name, even “if I was tortured.” And here’s why he locked away the case file and kept the Miami U. administration and campus police from disclosing his name: “What I remember about him is that there was certainly concern about his, say, his mental health and there were grounds stated on the record for the necessity of sealing the record. It had to do with his — probably as I recall, more so mental well-being than anything else.”
The student wasn’t the first, nor the last, to be convicted of a crime in Lyons’ courtroom as leave as John Doe. As the part-time judge said under oath, “This is a college town. Record sealings, you know, I would say if I do 10 record sealings in a week, that is not many.”
Lyons is represented by Butler County Prosecuting Attorney Mike Gmoser, who originally prosecuted John Doe, convicting him of disorderly conduct. Gmoser has asked the Supreme Court to dismiss the case against Lyons.
The Enquirer has
other ideas. In a new pleading Friday, the paper says Lyons improperly
dismissed the conviction without a statutorily necessary finding of
“manifest injustice.” It wants to amend its lawsuit, while sticking with
its contention that, in Ohio, judges must do a document-by-document
review and conduct a public hearing before sealing case records.