Former Portsmouth, Ohio, city councilman and still-practicing attorney Michael Mearan was released on bond Wednesday morning after he was indicted Friday on 18 felony charges, including sex trafficking.
Officials at the Scioto County Jail confirmed Mearan was released at 9:09 a.m. Wednesday.
Mearan appeared Monday afternoon in Scioto County Common Pleas Court for an arraignment at which he pleaded not guilty to all charges. Visiting judge Patricia Cosgrove set a $300,000 bond.
Mearan’s attorney, Richard Nash, initially told The Enquirer the bond was at a point where he believed Mearan “will not be able to bond out.”
Kadie Lancaster, sister-in-law of Megan Lancaster, who went missing in 2013, said the bond “seems kind of low.” The Lancasters believe Mearan was involved in Megan Lancaster’s disappearance.
“It was a happy day,” Kadie Lancaster said after Monday’s arraignment. “But yet, we’re kind of disappointed in the amount of bond that was set, because we do know he has that.”
Mearan, 74, was the focus of an Enquirer investigative report last year into sex trafficking in the small city 100 miles east of Cincinnati along the Ohio River. The Enquirer interviewed Mearan twice during the investigation. He consistently denied the allegations.
Mearan was arrested Friday on nine counts of promoting prostitution, five counts of compelling prostitution, three counts of human trafficking and one count of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity.