CLEVELAND, Ohio — A Cleveland lawyer has been indicted on dozens of felony expenses that accuse him of filing numerous cast court docket documents that in a single case triggered a girl to eliminate custody of her young children, prosecutors explained.
A grand jury on Tuesday charged Sean Porter, 31, in a 46-rely indictment that contains a charge of kidnapping and covers his get the job done in a few diverse courts courting back to 2019. The indictment states Porter submitted several cast and phony paperwork, such as affidavits.
In addition to 1 rely of initially-degree felony kidnapping, Porter faces one particular rely of interference with custody, and 22 counts each of tampering with data and forgery.
Porter will be arraigned in Cuyahoga County Frequent Pleas Court docket at a later on date.
Cleveland.com and The Plain Dealer achieved out to Porter for remark.
Porter also is experiencing prospective discipline from the Ohio Supreme Courtroom for his carry out in two situations in 2019 in which he admitted to forging a document and acquiring sexual associations with two of consumers who were likely through divorces, according to filings.
The legal scenario stemmed from an Aug. 8, 2021, custody hearing in Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court, Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O’Malley’s reported in a news release. Porter introduced the court with a journal entry that the children’s mom claimed was bogus, prosecutors said. The juvenile courtroom then started investigating Porter and uncovered that he also filed phony and fraudulent paperwork in the Euclid Municipal Courtroom and Ohio Supreme Court.
The indictment says Porter forged an affidavit from his client, Gregory McDougall, that he submitted to the Ohio Supreme Court on Feb. 17, 2021. Courtroom data show that Porter filed an appeal inquiring the court to consider up his obstacle to a Cuyahoga County judge’s ruling. That judge denied a movement to dismiss felony domestic violence and endangering youngsters charges in opposition to McDougall. The costs had been submitted in 2018 and Porter argued the case’s pendency violated McDougall’s speedy demo legal rights. The 8th District Court docket of Appeals dismissed the charm in July 2020.
7 months handed prior to Porter questioned the Supreme Court to overturn the 8th District’s choice, a delay he attributed in a motion to difficulties thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic and his possess “large caseload,” the submitting claimed.
Porter provided in the submitting an affidavit purporting to be from McDougall in which he also explained the hold off in the filing of the charm was owing to “a problem in communication concerning myself and my counsel because of to the COVID-19 Pandemic,” in accordance to Supreme Court docket data.
The affidavit provided a signature that started with the letter “G,” and Porter also signed and notarized the document and dated it Sept. 10, 2020.
The Ohio Supreme Courtroom declined to acquire up the attractiveness. McDougall’s case is however pending in Prevalent Pleas Courtroom.
The Ohio Supreme Courtroom is also weighing disciplining Porter over his carry out in two scenarios in 2019 that are not portion of Tuesday’s indictment.
The Board of Expert Perform identified that Porter experienced sex several times with a female he was symbolizing in a divorce case in Cuyahoga County Domestic Relations Courtroom, according to court filings. Porter, who at the time labored for the Barr, Jones and Associates law agency, also signed the woman’s title on an affidavit that stated she signed it in man or woman in front of him, notarized the affidavit and submitted it with the court docket, court filings say.
The female, who in accordance to court filings was a recovering alcoholic who was dwelling and doing the job in a rehabilitation middle in California at the time, flew to Cleveland quite a few situations for court hearings, right after which she and Porter experienced sexual intercourse. Porter instructed the lady that he would obtain a home in Lakewood where by the two of them could dwell with the woman’s three young children, court docket filings explained. The female give up her work at the rehab middle to get ready for the shift, but Porter broke off their partnership although the female was returning to California just after a court hearing in her situation, the submitting said.
Porter advised the woman he was “just participating in her,” the court filing mentioned.
The girl complained to Barr, Jones and Associates, which taken out Porter from the woman’s circumstance, wrote a look at reimbursing her all of his attorney expenses and designed him self-report his steps to the state’s disciplinary counsel, the court docket filings stated.
At the very same time, Porter was having a romantic relationship with a different one of his clients and did not disclose it to the organization, the filings stated.
This client, who was also likely via a divorce in Cuyahoga County, employed Porter in July 2019 after she was billed with domestic violence in Garfield Heights Municipal Court docket. The two commenced acquiring sexual relations soon just after, the courtroom filings reported.
The exact same night that Porter’s business confronted him about his romance with his other shopper, text messages show Porter explained to the 2nd lady not to notify any person about their relationship and that if she turned pregnant, “we will do the job collectively to cover it,” the criticism mentioned.
Porter was fired from Barr, Jones and Associates in December 2019. He joined his father’s regulation company in January 2020, according to the court docket filings. Porter broke up with the next former shopper in March 2020, and she filed a grievance with the Ohio Supreme Court’s Board of Skilled Carry out towards him the next thirty day period.
Porter submitted a response indicating their partnership did not start out right up until following his representation of her was more than, which the board observed was not true.
Porter stated in filings this summer months that he experienced been identified with depression and panic diseases and had begun in search of treatment.
The Board of Professional Carry out advised the Ohio Supreme Court docket suspend Porter’s license for two many years based on his carry out in the two scenarios.
If Porter is convicted, he would very likely experience more disciplinary proceedings.