Indicted human-trafficker Micheal Mearan dead at 75

By Adam Black - [email protected]

PORTSMOUTH — According to Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, Portsmouth lawyer and former city councilperson Michael Mearan has died.

On Friday, Nov. 26, at 7: 14 p.m., AG Yost posted that he was told 75-year-old Michael Mearan had died on his Twitter account.

“I’m told Michael Mearan, the Portsmouth lawyer indicted for human trafficking, has died. His trial was set for January,” Yost tweeted. “At least he died publicly charged for his crimes, and his victims knew the dignity of being heard and believed. They have survived him.”

According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, Mearan’s Attorney Michael Siewert of Siewert & Gjostein Co. LPA in Columbus confirmed Mearan’s death. Mearan died Friday afternoon surrounded by family after health complications.

Siewert told the Enquirer Mearan was taken to the hospital Wednesday, but the exact cause of death is currently unknown. The Portsmouth Daily Times reached out to Siewert, but emails went unanswered.

According to court documents, a jury trial date was set for Mearan to appear in court Jan. 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 stemmed from criminal activity in southern Ohio that occurred from 2003 to 2018 and involved six victims.

The charges included:

· 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 accused 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 denied all charges against him and pleaded not guilty in court in October 2020. Mearan faced more than 70 years in prison if he had been convicted.

By Adam Black

[email protected]

Reach Adam Black at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1927, or by email at [email protected]

© 2021 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved

Reach Adam Black at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1927, or by email at [email protected]

© 2021 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved