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An Ohio judge who engaged in three-way sex acts with prostitutes and falsified a court document was suspended from practicing law for two years, the Supreme Court of Ohio held May 10 ( State Bar Ass’n v. Jacob , 2017 BL 155390, Ohio, No. 2016-1488, 5/10/17 ).
Harry Joseph Jacob III was a municipal court judge when he was convicted of soliciting “at least three” prostitutes and lying on a legal form in a proceeding unrelated to his sexual activities.
Jacob was sentenced to 60 days in jail followed by probation, a fine, and home monitoring.
He resigned from the bench after his convictions but before he was sentenced.
This case before the Ohio Supreme Court dealt with the extent to which Jacob can still practice law.
What began with the former judge’s response to an ad for a massage led to increasingly adventurous behavior, culminating in three-way sex acts with prostitutes, the state high court said in describing evidence cited by an appeals court in affirming Jacob’s conviction.
The Supreme Court adopted the state’s recommendation of a two-year suspension with a year stayed.
Separately, Jacob took it upon himself while still a judge to reduce a man’s domestic violence charge so that he could still own a firearm, the top court said in its discussion of the falsification charge, again citing details outlined in the appeals decision.
The decision to reduce the domestic violence charge to disorderly conduct was up to the prosecutor, the court explained in criticizing Jacob for signing a form indicating the prosecutor approved the reduction when that wasn’t true.
Judges have an even greater duty to uphold the law than other lawyers, the court noted.
“Jacob failed to uphold the integrity of the judiciary, and he diminished public confidence in our branch of government,” the court said.
Plunkett Cooney, P.C. and Eugene P. Whetzel, bar counsel, represented the Ohio bar association. Murman & Associates represented Jacob.
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