Former Sheffield Lawyer Pleads Guilty to Charges of Hypnotizing Six Female Clients For Sexual Gratification




(Updated 9/13/16): The disgusting behavior of former attorney Michael Fine will finally land him behind bars. The sad saga began a couple years ago when a client reported that she couldn't account for all of the time spent with the attorney and reported her bra being disheveled and her vaginal area wet after a visit with him. Initial contact with the police didn't lead to much, so the woman recorded a visit and subsequent phone calls with Fine. The audio was shocking. Fine hypnotized her and then used graphic sexual language, asking her pointed questions about arousal, instructing her about using a vibrator, and talking to her about orgasms while calling himself her No. 1 teacher. He also repeatedly tells the hypnotized woman it's their little secret.

Armed with the audio, police had the woman tape another interaction with Fine and then raided his office. 

In the aftermath, six more women came forward with similar stories.

Fine's law license was suspended and he was indicted last August.

This week, finally, he pleaded guilty to a string of counts, though prosecutors dropped many more in the plea deal. The 59-year-old pleaded guilty to five counts of kidnapping and one count of attempted kidnapping. All of those charges carry a "sexual motivation specification," according to the Chronicle-Telegram.

Fine will be sentenced to 12 years in prison when he returns to court on November 7. Once released, he'll have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life. — Vince Grzegorek


(Updated 8/19/15): On Tuesday, Aug. 18, Michael W. Fine officially resigned and will be prohibited from ever practicing law again.


Attorney Michael William Fine, accused of hypnotizing female clients into performing sex acts, will never practice again, according to sources close to the case.


(Updated 11/25/14): On Monday, Ohio's supreme court formally suspended Michael W. Fine's law license, the Chronicle-Telegram reported:

The move comes a week after the Lorain County Bar Association requested an emergency temporary suspension of Fine’s legal privileges amid allegations he had hypnotized clients for his own sexual gratification.

Fine didn’t contest the temporary suspension in court papers filed Friday, but his lawyer Robert Housel has said that doesn’t mean his client has admitted to wrongdoing. Housel also has said that Fine is receiving “appropriate treatment.”


(Original story 11/19/14): Sheffield attorney Michael W. Fine has been reported to the Supreme Court of Ohio by the Lorain County Bar Association for allegedly hypnotizing female clients and then engaging in "sexual misconduct" with them, as reported earlier today by the Chronicle-Telegram.

The motion filed by the bar association details the accounts of two women who hired Fine, who's been practicing law since 1981, with their divorce-related cases and became suspicious when they couldn't remember their meetings with the lawyer and felt that something had happened to them, sexually, usually "physical sensations, bra misalignment, and memory loss afterwards."

You should read the Chronicle-Telegram piece or check out the full document from the Lorain County Bar Association embedded below for the details.

As part of the investigation into Fine, some of the meetings and phone calls were recorded by the women. During an October 10 phone call, recorded by the first woman, the "conversation began with discussion about normal legal matters and then turned into questions about where Doe 1 was and whether she was alone," the document says. "(Fine) then began to use 'code words' that induced Doe 1 to enter a trace-like stage." Some of those things include:

... her "coming," having "pleasure and arousal excitement," "releases," the "most massive, most incredible, most powerful whole body orgasm in your entire life," "multiple orgasms," that he is Doe 1's "teacher," and that they have a "special bond," and that their conversations are "private conversations between us, nobody else, just us, right," that she is "being made love to by the world's greatest lover," that she will not "Cancel her next meeting," and that all she will remember about their conversation is that "we talked about legal matters."

In another phone call, Fine put her in a "trance" and "attempted to set up a meeting with her for the next day" and told her to bring a vibrator.:

he inquires if she "feels pleasure," is "excited," is "aroused," that he is the only one to give her "the most pleasure you have ever had in your life," that she will feel a "wave of arousal," that she is "going to bring — you said you had a vibrator," that she should hide the vibrator "in her purse," and that she will want to see "what happens with the vibrator," that she will have a "hardening of her nipples," did she "have sex this morning," did she "masturbate this morning," does she "masturbate every day," that he will make her feel "the most amazing pleasure ever," and that she will "build towards a massive orgasm," that she is "soaking wet," that he is her "teacher and you are my student," that she would have "not just a vaginal orgasm, but a quick oral orgasm," that "I can do it to you, with you all the time, can't I," that "I am the only one who knows how to trigger it," he again inquires about the "vibrator," and that this is all "a secret and no one's going to know, right," that she is also going to bring her "horniness, your arousal, and your excitement," that she is going to have a "life-changing experience," that his voice "is like a vibrator inside of you," that she "was taught by me," and that "your juices are flowing, incredibly flowing," and she is "rubbing on your clit... so raw, so hard... so around or excited."

Similar experiences happened to the second woman during in-person meetings with Fine.

In the course of investigation, Richard Thomas, an investigator with the Lorain county prosecutor's office, described setting up a sting operation against Fine, fitting the first woman with an audio and video recording device and monitored their meeting nearby. According to the investigator's affidavit:

Based on this information, a search warrant was obtained to record Jane Doe's next meeting with Fine at his office. She was fitted with an audio and video recording device. I along with other law enforcement officers were monitoring the meeting which occurred on November 7, 2014 from a nearby location. Shortly after the meeting begins, Fine hypnotizes Jane Doe and directs her to sit on a couch. There is a video camera on the desk. Fine begins sexual dialogue, explaining sexual acts that he will do for her, while sitting next to her and holding and massages her hand and rubs her shoulders. At this point I and the other police enter the room.

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Doug Brown

Doug Brown is a staff writer at Scene with a passion for public records laws and investigative reporting. A native of Ann Arbor, Mich., he has an M.A. in journalism from the Kent State University School of Journalism and Mass Communication and a B.A. in political science from Hiram College. Prior to joining Scene,...

Vince Grzegorek

Vince Grzegorek has been with Scene since 2007 and editor-in-chief since 2012. He previously worked at Discount Drug Mart and Texas Roadhouse.
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