SHEFFIELD, Ohio- The Lorain County Bar Association says a woman came to the Sheffield Village Police Department in September and told investigators that her attorney, Michael Fine, had allegedly hypnotized her in order to perform sexual acts, during meetings at his office to discuss a custody dispute.
The woman, now known as Jane Doe #1, did not recall what happened in the meetings, but felt strongly there had been sexual conduct without her consent.
She eventually wore a hidden camera and microphone that the bar association says confirmed that Fine was using hypnotic techniques. Bar association attorney Chris Cook told FOX 8, "Even a lay person could recognize that what appears to be going on is some hypnotic trance, things that you might associate with that, such as counting backwards, relaxation techniques, breathing techniques, focusing on colors, what are called code words I've come to learn."
No criminal charges have been filed in the case, but we are told evidence being gathered by investigators may soon be presented to a Lorain County Grand Jury. The bar association says in a sexually-charged conversation with Jane Doe #1, Michael Fine told her that their conversations were, "private conversations between us, nobody else, just us, right?" and that she is "being made love to by the world's greatest lover."
Cook says a second woman, now known as Jane Doe #2, later came forward and reported that Fine had also hypnotized her for the purposes of sexual contact, while representing her in the dissolution of her marriage.
After investigating the two complaints, the bar association filed an emergency motion with the Ohio Supreme Court, asking the court to suspend Michael Fine's license to practice law. "He appears to be extremely adept at this process. This practice and the bar association was extremely concerned that with his kind of ability, not only could it be going on with others, it could have gone on in the past; most importantly, we don't want it to go on in the future," said Cook. The Supreme Court has given Fine until Monday to respond to the allegations.
Among the disturbing allegations now being investigated, is that Michael Fine used hypnosis on his clients inside conference rooms at the Lorain County Justice Center, while they thought they were preparing for their court cases.
The counsel for the bar association says he's aware that many people are skeptical about the effectiveness of hypnosis, but after consulting with a leading authority in the field, he has concluded that Michael Fine's expertise enabled him to violate the trust his clients had placed in him. "From what I've seen and the expert report that I read from our psychiatrist and the cases I've seen, I don't think in my personal opinion that there's any question that hypnosis, the use of hypnosis is real, and can be used for immoral, illegitimate and a very dark purpose," said Cook.
FOX 8 contacted Michael Fine by phone, and he declined comment on the allegations.