A 14-year-old girl who was sold to some 20 strangers a week for money while being trafficked for sex in Philly was able to identify just one of the men who violated her: a former Center City attorney.
That’s because the victim remembered that Brian P. Meehan’s name was on the door when she was forced to have sex with him in March 2012 inside the offices of Bishop, Dorfman, Lazaroff & Meehan, his former firm, at One Penn Center He also referred to himself by his last name, according to prosecutors.
On Monday, Meehan got a 2-to-4 year sentence and eight years probation as a registered sex offender after pleading guilty to statutory sexual assault, promoting prostitution of a minor, and corrupting the morals of a minor. Trafficker Shante Fenning got six to 12 years in prison and 10 years probation, and fellow trafficker Robert Harris got 14 to 28 years incarceration and eight years of probation.
Harris knew the victim, and he was able to gain her trust and lure her into being sold for sex, said assistant district attorney Meghan Goddard, who prosecuted the case.
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A special holiday treat Meehan gave the victim is part of what led to the arrests of all three.
“One of the details the victim remembered is he offered her Irish potatoes. It was the first time she had had those candies,” Goddard said. “Through some other information … we determined one of the visits was the day before St. Patrick’s Day. And employees at the office confirmed Mrs. Meehan sent Irish potatoes to the firm every year.”
Additionally, DNA tests were positive for Meehan’s sperm on his office couch and rug, where the victim described being a sexual encounter as taking place two and a half-years prior, Goddard said.
Meehan also forced her to have sex in the 12th-floor conference room, and bragged to her about his penchant for underage girls, telling her “he liked younger girls" and that the youngest girl he ever had sex with was 12, according to the grand jury presentment.
The victim allegedly was first reported missing in March 2012 after not coming home after school. Harris and Fenning allegedly kept her captive at the home in Germantown on 21 Harvey Street just blocks from where her family lived, while beating her and forcing her to have sex with strangers, including Meehan, who had previously represented the couple in a legal matter. (Four other girls were allegedly trafficked out of the house, but those cases did not result in charges.)
The couple later sold the victim to another trafficker in Camden for $600. She at one point visited a hospital and was documented as having severe vaginal injuries, but left before law enforcement arrived at the hospital. She was later trafficked back to Philly and eventually sent to a pimp in Georgia. Later allegedly jailed for stolen check charges in May 2012, she reportedly was in custody for approximately two years before being questioned about her history of abuse.
She then gave investigators from Philly information that led them to execute a search warrant at Meehan’s office on Oct. 10, 2014. He was fired from his law firm that same day.
His law license was suspended by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court's disciplinary board on Nov. 6.