Victim Speaks Out About Lawyer Convicted of Hypnotizing His Clients

ABC News, Good Morning America/January 23, 2017

By Shahriar Rahmanzadeh

One victim of an Ohio divorce attorney who was convicted in 2014 of hypnotizing and then molesting his clients spoke out in an interview with "Good Morning America" that aired today.

"He ruined a lot of peoples' lives," the woman, who wished to be identified only by her first name, Melissia, said. "He ruined a lot of self-worth that some of us had. It’s gone."

Melissia's interview comes as authorities released shocking, under-cover video that captures Michael Fine, 59, as he attempts to hypnotize and take advantage of another female client.

Fine was arrested after local authorities sent hidden cameras into Fine's office with one of his clients as part of a sting operation. The client had told police that her clothing was often disheveled after her appointments with Fine, and she was suffering memory loss. In the video, the attorney can be seen putting a woman into a trance without her consent by saying it is just a "breathing exercise."

"Your entire body is a vessel of pleasure and arousal and excitement and the better it feels the tighter you'll grip my hand," Fine says in the footage, and then proceeds to ask the client "when was the last time you made love?"

When his victim snaps out of her trance, Fine acts as if nothing ever happened, saying "OK, so we have some papers to go over," at which point police burst into the room and arrested Fine. He is now serving a 12-year prison sentence for hypnotizing six female clients, after he pleaded guilty to five counts of kidnapping and one count of attempted kidnapping. Fine also faces six civil lawsuits.

Melissia said witnessing the video of another one of Fine's victim's was painful.

"Seeing that video made me so so sick. It made me so angry, and panicky-feeling too," Melissia said. "I couldn't sleep after I saw the video."

Melissia said she first hired Fine as an attorney in April 2014, and she said that she paid him $17,000.

Melissia added that Fine would say he wanted to help her "relax."

"He didn't call it hypnosis," Melissia said. "He called it mindfulness."

Melissia added that the incident has changed her life in many ways.

"I will not be in a room with anybody by myself," Melissia said. "No shutting doors, I don't care who you are."

Attorney Laura Mills, who is representing Melissia in her civil court case against Fine, told "GMA" that they are suing him "so that he is held accountable."

"Clearly now he's in jail, but the actions he committed against Melissia need to be pursued in a civil suit so he can be accountable for expenses," Mills said.

Mills added however, that their "most important message" is "building awareness."

"What women need to understand is this can't happen," Mills said. "Women who experience that should not be embarrassed or ashamed about coming forward and talking to a counselor."

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