MIke Mearan, the Portsmouth, Ohio attorney accused of sex-trafficking has a new lawyer… himself. According to court documents, Mearan is now listed as his own attorney. However, Richard Nash is still listed as co-counsel. While everyone has the right to represent themselves in court, it’s usually considered an exceptionally bad idea. As the old saying goes, “The attorney who represents himself has a fool for a client.”
Mearan, a former Portsmouth City Councilman, faces a long list of charges. The charges say he was behind a human trafficking ring that operated for 15 years.
- One count of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity
- Three counts of trafficking in persons
- Five counts of compelling prostitution
- Nine counts of promoting prostitution
The 74-year-old attorney faces up to 70 years in prison if convicted on all charges. According to court records, Mearan filed back on November 18 to be appointed as his own counsel. Since then he’s filed several motions on his own behalf with the court including one to extend the allowable time for pretrial motions.
Human Trafficking Ring Operated For Years
While allegations of Mearan compelling women in need of legal representation to serve as prostitutes swirled for years, the first real legal movement in the case happened last spring when un the early hours of March 25th, members of BCI and other Law Enforcement agencies detained him and raided his home office. Then, the BCI began asking anyone who may have been a victim of Mearan’s or have any information about suspicious activities to speak out.
They released, a plea to the public “Anyone with information about Michael Mearan’s suspicious activity can call 1-855-BCI-OHIO (855-224-6446) or file a tip anonymously online.” This ability to file a tip is still available.
Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost and Scioto County Prosecutor Shane Tieman announced Mearan’s indictment back on October 23. Mearan was arrested and the court set bond at $300,000.