Portsmouth attorney starts representing himself in sex trafficking case


Michael Mearan, 74, attorney, is escorted from court at Scioto County Common Pleas courthouse in Portsmouth, Ohio following his arraigned on 18 charges of sex trafficking, Monday, Oct. 26, 2020. Visiting Judge Patricia Cosgrove sent bond at $300,000.

Former Portsmouth city councilman Michael Mearan is now submitting filings for himself in the case alleging him of sex trafficking, court records say.

Mearan, who was indicted in October, faces 18 counts spanning human trafficking, racketeering and compelling and promoting prostitution. The charges surround alleged criminal activity that occurred between 2003 and 2018.

As his own attorney, Mearan would be in a position to cross-examine his alleged victims.

“It’s been said in the past that a lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client,” Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost told The Enquirer Wednesday. “A trial, in this case, will afford a real-world test of that old saying.”

Mearan was the focus of an Enquirer investigative report in March 2019 into sex trafficking in the small city 100 miles east of Cincinnati along the Ohio River. He has consistently denied the allegations.


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