Ex-Judge's Reputation Takes So Many Hits, It's Hard to Begin

Among other things, William Marshall is linked to sex trafficking
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 16, 2019 2:30 PM CDT
Ex-Judge's Reputation Takes So Many Hits, It's Hard to Begin
Former Ohio judge William Marshall.   (CourtNewsOhio.gov)

The media spotlight is falling on a former Ohio judge who's been outed as an alcoholic and linked to an alleged sex trafficking ring, USA Today reports. Over 2,700 cases overseen by William Marshall, a common pleas judge for 15 years, might be reconsidered in light of his behavior. "If you're a severe alcoholic, you're going to work under the influence ... and that means you are ruling on people's cases," says a state public defender. Court documents say Marshall was hospitalized for addiction at least four times starting in 2013, and this year, his family filed for guardianship over his financial and personal affairs. What's more, Marshall retired last year amid controversy over his attempt to to squash a speeding ticket given to his daughter.

"I didn't like the trooper" who gave her the ticket, said Marshall, per the Cincinnati Enquirer. "He didn't listen to me. There used to be a code in this county—I'm a judge and he shouldn't have written my daughter" a ticket. Worse, the Enquirer story links Marshall to a sex trafficking ring allegedly run by local defense attorney Michael Mearan, who is accused of giving young female clients drugs in exchange for sex. Women involved were allegedly "given" to Marshall for lighter sentences. "Are you serious?" said Marshall. "I would never do anything like that." But state officials are investigating as the Ohio Public Defender's office begins reviewing his cases. (Meanwhile, an alcoholic who fell off the wagon was hit with $16,000 in fuel costs.)

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