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‘Untouchable’ attorney arrested, charged with human trafficking after USA TODAY Network investigation

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Michael Mearan charged with sex traffickingFor more than 15 years, alleged victims of Michael Mearan felt like they were screaming into the void.

In voices both strained with emotion and seemingly hardened with trauma, they stepped forward – cautiously, with trepidation – to level their allegations: that Mearan, a former Portsmouth, Ohio, city councilman and still-practicing attorney, trapped them in a cycle of drug abuse and sexual servitude.

They told their stories to agents with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. To FBI investigators. To journalists with The (Cincinnati) Enquirer, part of the USA TODAY Network. The worst that came of it were the convictions of eight defendants who pleaded guilty to drug charges – and none of those eight were Mearan.

On Friday, everything changed. After decades of rumors and investigations, Mearan was arrested on human trafficking, racketeering and related charges. He’s expected to be arraigned in Scioto County Common Pleas Court on Monday.

Mearan, 74, has previously denied having anything to do with trafficking, prostitution or drugs.



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