PORTSMOUTH, OH (WOWK) – People in southern Ohio are angry after former Portsmouth Attorney Michael Mearan, who was accused of sex trafficking, died before standing trial.

The question many are asking in the criminal case against Michael Mearan is “Was justice served?” Scioto County Prosecuting Attorney Shane Tieman released a statement answering that question.

The statement reads “Justice takes place when all the parties in a case have their day in court so that their voices can be heard in a fair trial and a jury can render a just verdict. With Mr. Mearan’s passing, this will not occur for any and all parties involved in this matter.”

With this information many Portsmouth, Ohio residents have been publicly expressing their concerns on this issue. One individual who prefers to remain anonymous says “What should be surprising is the fact that he was allowed to do what he did for decades and wasn’t prosecuted until now.”

Others are afraid this case will be “swept under the rug”, but some are holding out hope that this is not over yet.

We spoke with those who knew Mearan personally when these allegations first surfaced. Portsmouth resident Valerie Saltsman met Mearan years ago, noting “he was a very intelligent man, very smart from what I’ve seen.”

However, she believes the allegations of sex trafficking against Mearan, but she doesn’t believe he was working alone.

I would say it was more than just one single individual in this case. There seemed to be a lot of young girls working around at that time.I can see where people would start speculating that there was something different going on.

Valerie Saltsman, Portsmouth, Ohio resident

The Portsmouth Police Department says the investigation into a possible sex trafficking ring is still ongoing. While Mearan is publically charged for these crimes, his day in court will never come.