Transcript for Ohio Lawyer Found Guilty of Hypnotizing and Assaulting Women
We'll start now with that bombshell case in Ohio where a lawyer guilty of hypnotizing several clients so he could molest them, the women say they have no memory of what happened and ABC's Mara schiavocampo has more on how the lawyer was finally caught. Good morning, Mara. Reporter: Good morning, a really unbelievable story. That lawyer admitting to using hypnosis to essentially put these women into a trance causing them to forget hours of time during which he took advantage of them sexually. This morning, an Ohio lawyer turned defendant. There is just remorse and grief in my heart. Reporter: 59-year-old divorce attorney Michael fine sentenced to 12 years in prison for hypnotizing six female clients without their consent or knowledge and then molesting them. He used my trust in his position as my attorney to gain information about my vulnerabilities. Reporter: According to legal documents in 2013 one of fine's clients noticed that after their appointments her bra was disheveled and that she could not recall the entire duration of these meetings. Something that happened again and again. Suspicious she began tape-recording her conversations. Learning shocking details about their meetings, she says, she didn't reremember. That fine began to use code words to get her io a trance-like stage and then engaged in a sexually charged discussion saying things like at the count of three, you won't be able to control yourself. And he would say that he had some relaxation techniques that the best thing they can do is try to relax in order to help themselves. Reporter: The first victim took the recordings to police who had her wear a wire and video record her when fine began the same behavior at the next meeting they nabbed him. While hypnosis is a powerful therapeutic technique there is no consensus on exactly what's possible against someone's will. Can we make someone T their clothes off in a public place through hypnosis? The short answer is no. However, we could possibly convince them that the temperature was so hot that they might want to disrobe. Reporter: Now fine has pleaded guilty to five counts of kidnapping and one count of attempted kidnapping. All with the sexual motive specification. In a statement he says he accepted responsibility for what he did wrong. Now, fine has also been permanently disbarred. He will have to register as a sex offender for the next 25 years and is facing civil lawsuits from the women. Now, there are so many unanswered questions about hypnosis and it's particularly hard to study what you can make people do against their will because the studies themselves may be unethical. George. Well, that makes sense. Okay, Mara, thanks very much. Let's try to answer some with Dan Abrams. What a creepy case. Wow, I mean really unbelievable. All right, first of all, you've got these women, you've got to feel incredibly sorry for these women. They are going to a divorce attorney. This is at the lowest point in their lives. They're in the middle of a fight or about to have an enormous -- Custody, the most important issues, and this guy is taking advantage of that. Which is, you know, which is in and of itself a problem and also terrible for lawyer, by the way, because this is supposed to be the most trusted relationship is between an attorney and a client, but if this case had gone to trial, it would have put hypnosis on trial That's what I want to ask. If it had you would have had experts on both sides saying it is real and does work and the other -- I think the defense would have have to have been you can't force someone to do something against their will and yet increasingly hypnosis is being taken seriously by the scientific community and heard in that sound bite in the piece there it does sound like you can get people to do something -- You can change their will is the point. You can change their will and as a result, it would have been fascinating to hear this fight over hypnosis but now that he's pled guilty that's not going to happen. Now facing 12 years behind bars. Very good police work here. Oh, yeah, absolutely, the fact that they were able to -- she has the withwithal to take it to the police and put this undercover video on her and have the evidence where I think this is what forced them to plead. Okay, Dan Abrams, thanks very
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