Lawyer charged with kidnapping ‘after falsifying diary that cost custody of her child’
An Ohio lawyer has been charged with nearly four dozen criminal charges, including kidnapping and a slew of forgeries, after prosecutors said he manipulated a journal entry that caused a mother to temporarily lose custody of her child.
Sean Porter, 31, of Cleveland, faces one count each of kidnapping and custody battle, and 22 counts of forgery and document tampering.
Porter faces separate charges for allegedly having sex with two “vulnerable” female clients while they were divorcing.
The criminal case against Porter, formerly an associate of Barr, Jones and Associates, stems from an August 8, 2021 custody hearing in the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Division.
The 31-year-old Ohio attorney Sean Porter has been charged with a slew of charges, including forgery and kidnapping, after allegedly filing a forged journal entry that caused a mother to temporarily lose custody of her child.
According to a press release from Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O’Malley, Porter handed the court a journal entry, which the mother of the 11-year-old girl at the center of the custody battle was counterfeit.
The juvenile court opened an investigation into Porter, which found that the attorney forged and filed false documents with the Ohio Supreme Court, Euclid Municipal Court and Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Juvenile Division.
Porter, a University of Dayton School of Law graduate with no previous disciplinary history, is suspected of submitting a slew of forged documents, including multiple affidavits from clients related to child custody cases.
In one case, Porter allegedly filed a false affidavit from his client George McDougall, blaming the delay in filing an appeal in a domestic violence and child endangerment case for the COVID-19 pandemic. . The document contained a signature beginning with the letter ‘G’, and it was notarized by Porter cleveland.com.
Porter is expected to face charges at a later date on the 46 charges listed in the indictment.
He also faces possible disciplinary action from the Ohio Supreme Court after the Board of Professional Conduct recommended a two-year license suspension from Porter’s law as a result of his handling of two cases in 2019.
According to council findings released in June, Porter had multiple sexual encounters with a female client going through a divorce. The woman was described as a recovering alcoholic who lived and worked in a California rehabilitation center and traveled to Ohio to attend court hearings.
Porter is suspected of forging and filing false documents in the Ohio Supreme Court and Cuyahoga County Juvenile Division (pictured)
Porter allegedly told the woman that he would buy a house near Cleveland where they could live with the woman’s three children. The client quit her job in California to prepare for the move, but Porter broke up with her, saying he was “just playing her,” according to documents.
The woman filed a complaint with Porter’s then-employer, who removed him from her case, reimbursed her for all attorneys’ fees and Porter himself reported his conduct to the state disciplinary committee.
By this time, according to the Council’s findings, Porter was already having sex with another client, who was also going through a divorce.
The day Porter was confronted by his employer about his relationship with the first wife, he sent text messages to his new lover, asking her to keep their relationship a secret and reassuring her that if she did get pregnant,’ We will work together to hide it,” the document reads.
Porter was fired from Barr, Jones and Associates in December 2019 and joined his father’s law firm several weeks later.
As of Wednesday, Porter’s law license was listed as active in the Ohio Supreme Court Attorney’s Guide.