Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio

Imprisoned Attorney Indefinitely Suspended

An attorney formerly of Toledo serving a 10-year prison sentence for child pornography-related charges was indefinitely suspended by the Ohio Supreme Court today.

In a unanimous per curiam opinion, the Supreme Court noted that Stephen Long and the Toledo Bar Association proposed to the Board of Professional Conduct that Long be indefinitely suspended with no credit for the time served under a prior suspension. The board agreed with the recommendation, and the Court adopted the sanction.

Attorney Suspended After Conviction
In May 2017, Wood County law enforcement officers searched Long’s home. Based on the evidence obtained, he was indicted on five second-degree-felony counts of pandering sexually oriented matter involving a minor and one fifth-degree felony count of possessing criminal tools. A Wood County grand jury later indicted Long on eight additional counts of pandering sexually oriented matter involving a minor and two counts of illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material or performance.

In December 2018, Long pleaded no contest. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison and designated a Tier II sex offender. Long appealed to the Sixth District Court of Appeals, which affirmed his convictions in August 2020.

Based on his conviction, the Court suspended Long from the practice of law on an interim basis in March 2019. In a July 2019 complaint to the board, the Toledo Bar Association sought additional sanctions based on the conduct underlying Long’s criminal convictions.

Long did not seek a board hearing to contest the ethics violations. The parties stipulated and the board found that Long violated two rules governing the professional conduct of Ohio lawyers, by committing an illegal act that reflects adversely on the lawyer’s honesty or trustworthiness, and engaging in conduct that adversely reflects on the lawyer’s fitness to practice law.

In addition to the suspension, Long was ordered to pay the costs of the disciplinary proceedings.

2021-0751. Toledo Bar Assn. v. Long, Slip Opinion No. 2021-Ohio-3967.

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