Jun. 21—The Board of Professional Conduct of the Supreme Court of Ohio recommended a former judicial candidate convicted of possessing explicit photos and videos of children be indefinitely suspended from practicing law, according to a recent filing.
Stephen Long, 57, who is incarcerated at the North Central Correctional Complex in Marion, Ohio, previously pleaded no contest to 13 counts of pandering sexually-oriented matter involving a minor and two counts of illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material or performance after investigators learned he had more than 700 images and 16 videos of children being sexually abused.
The victims ranged in age from less than 1 year old to 12 years old.
In March, 2019, he was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
At the time, Wood County prosecutors said that Long, as an attorney, was required to report any suspected child abuse under the law and, as a judicial candidate, he was in a position of trust and influence in the community.
A 1994 graduate of the University of Toledo College of Law, Long, formerly of Perrysburg, had a private law practice in Sylvania Township.
In November, 2016, Long, a Democrat, ran for judge of Wood County Common Pleas Court but was beaten by Republican Matthew Reger by a vote of 28,436 to 18,577. Long ran unsuccessfully for Perrysburg City Council in 2009 and 2015 as well as for state representative in 2014.
After his sentencing, the Supreme Court of Ohio ordered that Long be suspended from practicing law in Ohio on an interim basis due to the felony convictions.
The Sixth District Court of Appeals affirmed Long's convictions and the Supreme Court declined to accept jurisdiction in December.
On June 11, the Board of Professional Conduct considered Long's case and followed a three-person panel's recommendation that Long be indefinitely suspended from practicing law, with no credit for time served under the interim felony suspension imposed on March 20, 2019, according to the board's filing.
Long, who did not have a prior record of discipline, was found to have violated codes of professional conduct by participating in an illegal act that reflects adversely on the lawyer's honesty or trustworthiness and conduct that adversely reflects on the lawyer's fitness to practice law, a three-person panel found.
The recommendations will then go before the Supreme Court.
First Published June 21, 2021, 4:20pm