Trial underway for Bedford Muny Court Judge Harry Jacob

CLEVELAND -- The trial of Bedford Municipal Court Judge Harry Jacob III got underway Wednesday morning.

Jacob, 57, waived his right to a jury trial and now the case will be heard solely by Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court Judge Brian J. Corrigan. Opening statements were heard and the trial continued through the afternoon.

Jacob, of Solon now faces 19 counts after prosecutors dropped two of the solicitation charges.

Jacob was arraigned on Jan. 6. He pleaded not guilty to prostitution and corruption-related charges resulting from an investigation into a brothel being run in the Walsh Professional Center on Northfield Road in Bedford.

Jacob was originally charged with six misdemeanor counts of soliciting sex from three women. In addition, he is charged with felony counts of bribery, and three counts of promoting prostitution. One of the charges accuses Jacob of acting as a pimp for two of the women, as well as having sex with them.

The charges span a seven-year period from July 2006 until October and involve four women, who are referred to as Jane Does in the indictment.

RELATED : Prosecutor: Judge looking for prostitutes while on the bench

On Nov. 19, Jacob took a medical leave from the court right after investigators from the prosecutor's office served search warrants at Bedford Municipal Court.

On Dec. 6, was the first to confirm and report the story that City of Bedford Law Director Ken Schuman's home and law offices were searched by the Bedford police, BCI and investigators from Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty's office.

RELATED : Indictments in Bedford corruption probe

In December, a grand jury indicted Jacob and Bedford City Law Director Kenneth Schuman.

Schuman, 42, of Bedford, in a 19-count indictment.

Shuman, represented by attorney James McDonnell, was facing felony charges of bribery, having an unlawful interest in a public contract, money laundering, theft in office and obstructing justice. He is also charged with misdemeanors of soliciting sexual activity, soliciting improper compensation and falsification.

On July 24, Schuman pleaded guilty to having an unlawful interest in a public contract, a fourth-degree felony. O'Donnell says Schuman will also pay a fine and will be sentenced Sept. 3.

RELATED : Former Bedford law director pleads guilty to public corruption

Regarding the brothel, a grand jury in October indicted James Walsh, 71, of Willoughby Hills, charging that he laundered money and promoted prostitution from the Walsh Professional Center, a building he owns. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges and is represented by attorney Richard Drucker.

In their opening statements, prosecutors also said Jacob gave a woman, who he paid for sex, special treatment on a traffic violation and did not reveal his relationship with the woman to other court officials.


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