Michael Mearan, 74, is detained after nearly a dozen FBI agents descend on his Ohio home

Lawyer, 74, is handcuffed outside his Ohio home after it’s raided by FBI agents over allegation that he directed sex trafficking ring that left one woman dead and five missing

A prominent Ohio lawyer, who has been accused of being involved in a sex trafficking ring, was detained after dozens of FBI agents and local law enforcement officers raided his home Wednesday morning.

Images showed FBI agents and Portsmouth police detectives surrounding defense attorney Michael Mearan’s home.

The 74-year-old was seen in handcuffs sitting on his front porch while authorities searched his home.

Michael Mearan, (pictured in blue), 74, was seen in handcuffs sitting on his front porch while authorities searched his home

Michael Mearan, (pictured in blue), 74, was seen in handcuffs sitting on his front porch while authorities searched his home

Images showed FBI agents and Portsmouth police detectives surrounding Mearan's home

Images showed FBI agents and Portsmouth police detectives surrounding Mearan’s home

Rumors about Mearan sex trafficking made national headlines in December 2017.

Last year, an 80-page Drug Enforcement Agency affidavit alleged that Mearan is a prolific sex trafficker who supplied his young, female clients with drugs ‘in exchange for and as an incentive to participate in acts of prostitution’.

Some of the women said they were even sent as far as New York, New Jersey, Louisiana and Florida for paid sexual liaisons. 

One woman has reportedly been missing since 2013 and another woman was found dead. Four other women are also missing. 

According to a 2019 Cincinnati Enquirer report, Mearan had been rumored of running the sex trafficking ring out of Portsmouth, a small Ohio town just across the Ohio River from Kentucky.

The report investigates claims in the affidavit that Mearan has for years pressured women into prostitution by telling them he could get lenient sentences from friendly judges.  

Mearan (center) has repeatedly denied any allegation that he was involved in prostitution or sex trafficking

Mearan (center) has repeatedly denied any allegation that he was involved in prostitution or sex trafficking

Mearan has repeatedly denied any allegation that he was involved in prostitution or sex trafficking. 

The affidavit also refers to a Portsmouth judge ‘in collusion’ with Mearan, alleging that Mearan provided the judge women, according to information ‘obtained through numerous interviews, including interviews with former prostitutes’.

Several women interviewed by the Enquirer identified the unnamed judge as William T. Marshall, who has denied any involvement with drugs or prostitution. 

‘Are you serious? I would never do anything like that,’ he told the newspaper. 

The Ohio Public Defender’s office has since launched an effort to review any case overseen by Marshall that involved prison time or other court supervision. 

Through Marshall’s 16 years on the bench, that adds up to an estimated 2,707 cases.  

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