PORTSMOUTH — Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost and Scioto County Prosecutor Shane Tieman announced Friday, Oct. 23, the indictment of Portsmouth attorney Michael Mearan on 18 felony counts related to human trafficking spanning 15 years.
Mearan, 74, faces more than 70 years in prison if convicted.
The charges stem from criminal activity in southern Ohio that occurred from 2003 to 2018 and involved six victims. They include:
· One count of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity (F1)
· Three counts of trafficking in persons (F1)
· Five counts of compelling prostitution (F3)
· Nine counts of promoting prostitution (F4)
The case was investigated by a human trafficking task force as part of Yost’s Organized Crime Investigations Commission. The task force consisted of representatives from the Portsmouth Police Department, Department of Public Safety’s Intelligence Unit and Ohio Investigative Unit, and the Attorney General’s Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation.
The case is being prosecuted under Yost’s Human Trafficking Initiative.
Indictments merely contain allegations. Defendants are presumed innocent unless proved guilty in a court of law.