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CONGRESSMAN ADMITS HAVING SEX WITH TEEN

U.S. Rep. Donald E. Lukens admitted he had sex with an underage Columbus girl last November, according to prosecutors who opened their case against Lukens Tuesday.

Assistant Prosecutor Rita Mangini said Lukens at first denied the accusations but later admitted he had sexual contact with the girl, who was 16 at the time, at his Columbus apartment.Defense attorney Thomas Tyack, however, cautioned the jury to listen to all the evidence.

Lukens does not deny that two girls came to his home on the night of Nov. 6, 1988, but what happened inside the apartment is "a matter of dispute," Tyack said.

Lukens sat quietly and showed no emotion during the opening statements.

A jury of four men and four women was seated Monday in the trial of the 58-year-old Republican from Middletown, who is charged with contributing to the delinquency or unruliness of a minor.

Lukens has denied the allegation, contending the girl's mother tried to extort money from him.

If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 180 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.