Suit filed against judge overseeing sex trafficking case

Former Portsmouth city councilman and lawyer Michael Mearan waves to a friend after a virtual hearing in the Common Pleas courtroom in the Scioto County Courthouse on Friday, March 26, 2021, in Portsmouth, Ohio.

The Enquirer filed a complaint Monday against a judge who barred a reporter from attending a pretrial hearing in one of the most high-profile human trafficking cases in Ohio's history.

The telephone hearing was scheduled for Sept. 10 before Judge Patricia Cosgrove the case of Michael Mearan.

The former Portsmouth city councilman faces 18 charges in Scioto County related to sex trafficking. Prosecutors say he used his position as a defense attorney to take advantage of women and traffic them for sex. He denies the allegations.

Mearan was arrested in October 2020. He has since attempted to represent himself, tried to discover the names of the women who have made allegations against him and been placed on house arrest for violating the terms of his bond.

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