Michael Fine, an Ohio divorce lawyer, had previously admitted to sexually assaulting at least six of his clients. Now, the lurid and bizarre details of those assaults are coming to light: Fine had hypnotized the women before attacking them.
Fine presented the hypnotic situation as a kind of meditation to calm his clients' nerves. According to The Washington Post, the lawyer would prompt his clients into a breathing exercise and lull them into a trance, only to then (under heavy suggestion) molest them. He would encourage them to only remember the legal details of the meetings, with numerous women completely forgetting the assaults until signs of disarray appeared later.
“You’ll only recollect what we were talking about your case until we see each other tomorrow,” Fine apparently told one victim, who recorded the meeting but could not remember details of the attack. “Do you understand?”
“I went to Michael Fine with help in getting out of a terrible and abusive situation,” one victim told the court before his sentencing. “I paid him to help me. He used my trust and his position as my attorney to gain information about my vulnerabilities. He then used that information not only to protect and defend me but also to manipulate, hurt, and take advantage of me.”
“It confirmed my worst fears,” she continued. “That my attorney, the man who had come to my rescue through a very painful divorce, the man who had made himself invaluable to me through this extremely difficult and vulnerable time in my life, the man who helped me with every challenging issue I encountered in my life and the man who built up my confidence when I was feeling anything but confident by calling me special, unique, and beautiful, was sexually misusing many of his other clients as well.”
Fine has ultimately been sentenced to 12 years in prison and will be classified as "a Tier 2 sexual offender, meaning he’ll have to register as a sex offender every 180 days for 25 years," according to the Chronicle-Telegram.
“At the lowest point in their lives when they came to you for help in the throes of painful divorces and custody battles, you took advantage of them,” Judge Patricia Cosgrove said at the sentencing. “You took advantage of their trust and faith in you by sexually abusing them... You deserve to be punished.”
[Photo: Getty Images]