PORTSMOUTH — A jury trial date has been set for former Portsmouth City Council member and lawyer Michael Mearan.
According to court documents, Mearan is set to appear in court January 18, 2022, for the start of a four-day trial.
On Oct. 23, 2020, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost and Scioto County Prosecutor Shane Tieman announced the indictment of Mearan on 18 felony counts related to human trafficking spanning 15 years. The charges stem from criminal activity in southern Ohio that occurred from 2003 to 2018 and involved six victims.
The charges 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)
According to documents filed by prosecutors Jan. 8, Mearan allegedly pocketed money raised in sex-for-hire appointments, verbally abused women and called them “the product.” The documents accuse Mearan of using his position as an attorney to cultivate and exploit relationships with vulnerable females he was representing, satisfying his sexual needs and those of his co-conspirators.
Mearan has denied all charges against him and pleaded not guilty in court in Oct. of 2020. Mearan’s trial is expected to start Jan. 18, 2022, at 9 a.m. and continue for four days. No other hearing is currently scheduled until January, according to the Scioto County Court Docket.
Mearan faces more than 70 years in prison if convicted.
Reach Adam Black at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1927, or by email at [email protected]
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