An Ohio attorney who induced clients into a hypnotic trance before sexually assaulting them has been jailed for 12 years.
Prosecutors in Lorain County said 59-year-old Michael Fine had, under the guise of providing legal assistance, carried out a spate of attacks on women for his own sexual pleasure by using hypnosis on his victims.
The father-of-two’s crimes were exposed only when a client became suspicious and began recording her conversations with Fine. The extent of his manipulation later became apparent when one of his victims secretly videod a meeting at his office as part of a police sting, reports NBC4I news.
The attorney was sentenced to 12 years in prison at a Lorain County court on Monday, two months after he plead guilty to sexually-motivated kidnapping and attempted kidnapping, report The Chronicle Telegram.
Judge Patricia A. Cosgrove said Fine had used relaxation techniques to hypnotize, abuse people and “take their dignity.”
Prior to sentencing, Fine said he had “remorse and grief in my heart.”
In a victim impact statement, one of Fine’s former clients described how he preyed on her vulnerability.
“I went to Michael Fine with help in getting out of a terrible and abusive situation. I paid him to help me. He used my trust and his position as my attorney to gain information about my vulnerabilities,” she told the court.
“He then used that information not only to protect and defend me, but also to manipulate, hurt and take advantage of me,” the woman added, according to the The Chronicle Telegram.
Upon his release, Fine will have to sign on to the sex offenders register for at least 25 years. The 59-year-old’s law license has been permanently revoked.
The court trial of Robert Philbert Myers, 36, of Bigler Township, Pennsylvania, who is charged with child sex abuse, got under way yesterday before Judge Paul Cherry at the Clearfield County Courthouse.
Myers is currently serving as a Bigler Township Supervisor.
Myers is charged with 20 counts of rape of a child, 20 counts of statutory sexual assault-victim less than 16, defendant more than 11 years older, 20 counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, and indecent assault.
The alleged victim, now 18, was on the stand for six hours yesterday and she gave graphic testimony about how Myers raped and molested her for several years.
The Progress does not publish names of victims of sexual assault.
She said Myers began assaulting her when she was 13-14 years old, but said when she was in fifth grade, Myers started to make inappropriate comments about her body and would sometimes touch her inappropriately.
She said Myers first sexually assaulted her in the summer of 2012 between her 8th and 9th grades in school. At first, she said the incidents occurred about once or twice a month, but this increased over time to where it was occurring three or more times a week.
She said one of the first incidents occurred in the cab of Myers’ tractor-trailer. She said Myers assaulted her in the truck another time after that, but said the assaults usually would occur in the basement of her home or on the couch. She said all the assaults occurred when her mother was not home.
She said the abuse lasted until May 2015 when she told her mother. She said she told her boyfriend a month earlier and he told her to report it — but she initially refused. Eventually he convinced her to tell her mother. She said she didn’t want to face her so she sent her a text message.
Her mother brought her to the state police barracks later that morning.
When the victim was asked by Clearfield County District Attorney William A. Shaw Jr. why she didn’t report it, she said, “I was scared of him.”
She also said he told her not to tell anyone and if she did, no one would believe her and she would get in trouble.
Shaw showed the jury sexually suggestive Facebook messages sent from Myers to the victim. The messages were sent on April 5, 2015. She said at the time, she was on the couch in the living room and Myers was also in the living room. She said her mother was nearby in the kitchen and her sisters were there as well.
In the messages, Myers asks the victim for sex but she refuses. Also in the messages Myers tells her it is “forced love” but not rape.
Eventually she said she stopped replying to him because she fell asleep but Myers continued to send her multiple messages in an attempt to wake her up.
During cross examination by Myers’ attorney, Leanne Nedza of DuBois, the victim was asked why she once told authorities that the first time occurred in the living room but during a later interview she said the first time occurred in the truck. The alleged victim said she couldn’t remember which one was first because they occurred so close to each other in time.
She also said it occurred so often and he did it almost the same way every time that it became routine.
She said Myers abused her hundreds of times over the years.
Nedza also showed a series of Facebook messages where the victim thanked or praised Myers for what he has done for her.
She said Myers often did fun things with her like take her fishing or riding four-wheelers or go-carts and she tried to focus on the positive things in her life. She said she tried to project a positive image of herself on Facebook and was embarrassed and ashamed of what was happening to her.
Nedza also implied that the victim had sent the sexually suggestive Facebook messages herself, but the victim denied she did this.
During opening statements, Myers’ co-counsel, CJ Zwick, said the alleged victim fabricated the story of abuse after Myers had a falling-out with the girl’s mother.
“The allegations are totally false. They didn’t happen,” Zwick said. “They were made up.”
However, when asked by Shaw, the alleged victim said the falling out between her mother and the defendant occurred because she told her that he was abusing her.
The trial is expected to last the rest of the week.
By Maria Hallas, MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com)
The City of Memphis is investigating an employee, named Chris Carwile, who works at a Memphis library, and is accused of abusing children while he worked with church youth almost two decades ago.
Three men filed a police report stating Carwile sexually abused them about 20 years ago while he was an associate youth pastor Immanuel Baptist Church in Collierville. Immanuel later changed its name to the Church at Schilling Farms.
The church fired Carwile, but admits it never reported the alleged abuse to law enforcement. Carwile went on to work at another church and is now employed at the city's main library on Poplar. Last week, a city spokesperson says he was placed on paid administrative leave, pending the outcome of an investigation.
The three men met exclusively with the Local I-Team. They say they are speaking out on social media and in the news now to prevent other children from possibly being victimized. They also say they would like to see changes in the Baptist Church to ensure allegations of child abuse are reported to law enforcement. The Local I-Team has repeatedly attempted to contact Carwile, but he has not responded.
Kenny Stubblefield, Michael Hansen, and Brooks Hansen claim the effects of childhood sexual abuse still haunt them though they are now in their thirties.
"This has damaged me for the last 18 years. Emotionally, mentally, spiritually, I'm damaged because of it," said Stubblefield.
Michael Hansen's suffering grew so great he attempted suicide by deeply slitting his wrists in his parent's bathroom. "In 2007 desperate, depressed, anxious, worried, alone, I finally tried to kill myself," Hansen said.
Hansen's brother Brooks Hansen said the experience affected his relationship with God. "It blew my world up. Struggling, how could God let this happen to me," said Brooks Hansen.
The men claim Carwile assaulted them as teenagers while he was their associate youth pastor at what was then known as Immanuel Baptist Church in Collierville.
"It was November 27, 1998, and he invited me to spend the night at his house. That's where the abuse happened," Stubblefield said.
Their stories are very similar. Each claim Carwile individually invited them to his parents' home, where he showed them porn. They say Carwile refused to let them sleep on a couch or floor.
"He said sleep in my bed because the oils from your skin will get on the couch and on the carpet. My mom loves her carpet," said Michael Hansen.
They all claim they woke to Carwile's assault.
"I remember falling asleep and waking up to having his hand in my shorts and touching me," said Stubblefield.
"I woke up to have his hand down my boxers basically rubbing my private area and freaked out in my head," said Brooks Hansen.
"It was happening some more but much, much worse ... (his hand was) in my underwear," says Michael Hansen.
They say after the abuse, they told the then pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church, Scott Payne. Payne fired Carwile, but admits he didn't report the alleged abuse to law enforcement because he only heard general allegations of inappropriate touching. Payne said he didn't realize he was required to report claims of abuse.
Tennessee statutory law requires every person immediately report harm if that person has knowledge of, or is called upon to render aid, to any child, or if the child suffers from, or has sustained any wound, injury, disability, or physical or mental condition, and if the harm is of such a nature as to reasonably indicate that it has been caused by brutality, abuse or neglect or that, on the basis of available information, reasonably appears to have been caused by brutality, abuse, or neglect. Statute annotations reflect the broad reporting statutory requirement went into effect in 1985, thirteen years before the men say they suffered abuse.
Payne asked for the men's forgiveness on camera. "To these young men I would say I still love you. I am sorry that you went through what you did. I am sorry I didn't do more to protect you. It is terrible for anyone to have to go through that. Please forgive me."
"I really, really struggled for years to figure out what the gospel meant to me and if I still believed In the gospel, said Brooks Hansen.
The Local I-Team learned that Carwile worked at the main library on Poplar as a broadcast program coordinator. A city spokesperson said he is on paid administrative leave pending an investigation into the claims.
The three men say their social media posts speaking out about the abuse resulted in five men contacting them who claim they were also abused by Carwile when he later worked at Cherokee Baptist Church.
The Local I-Team has repeatedly attempted to contact Carwile about these claims, but he has not responded.
If you experienced or are aware of child sexual abuse, please contact police immediately.
If you are aware of or experienced any child abuse similar to that of the men in this story please also contact reporter Maria Hallas at email@example.com or at 901-500-0531.
By John Shryock, Digital Content Producer 12WSFA
The suspect, identified as Montgomery-resident Clarence Thompson, is facing two charges of sexually abusing a child under the age of 12 on separate dates, according to two affidavits. One of the charges alleges abuse in the late hours of Aug. 1, while the other happened Nov. 10.
Police filings indicate Thompson admitted to the assaults.
It was not clear, due to redaction in the court documents, if Thompson is accused of assaulting the same victim.
Thompson is being held at the Montgomery County Detention Facility on bonds totaling $30,000.