Saturday, December 3, 2022

The Dark Side

Ohio Disciplinary Counsel has filed ethics charges against an attorney who was the subject of a February 2019 article in

The charges relate to alleged statements and omissions to the State Medical Board in an application to become a physician's assistant.

The February 2019 article

A Broadview Heights attorney once known as an expert witness for defendants in child pornography cases, and who digitally manipulated G-rated images and created child porn for his work, must pay a six-figure judgment to two women whose images he doctored despite filing for bankruptcy, a federal appeals court ruled.

Jack Boland filed for bankruptcy in 2016, and among the debts he included were a $300,000 judgment over images he downloaded from a stock photo website and digitally modified, or “morphed.” The images were of two girls from Cuyahoga County, ages five and six at the time, and Boland altered them to make it seem as if the photos were taken while they were in sexually explicit situations.

Boland presented the doctored images of the two girls and others in courtrooms in Ohio and Oklahoma in trials for which defendants faced child pornography charges.


U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Jessica Price Smith ruled in 2017 that Boland could discharge the judgment along with his other debts. However, a three-judge bankruptcy panel for the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed in a ruling issued Wednesday, meaning Boland will be back on the hook for the judgment.


Boland previously went by the first name Dean. He has written pieces over the years for The Plain Dealer and


He is a former assistant Cuyahoga County prosecutor who was on a legal team that defended the state from a lawsuit filed by the estate of Dr. Sam Sheppard in 2000. The suit sought a declaration that Sheppard was wrongfully imprisoned for the murder of his wife Marilyn in Bay Village in 1954, though a jury ruled against the estate.


Boland declined comment when reached Wednesday.


By the mid-2000s, he gained a reputation as an expert consultant in computerized digital imaging for defendants in child porn cases. As an expert, he sought to show that innocent images could be altered to appear that children were having sex or posing explicitly, as part of a defense that some people charged did not knowingly view or possess child porn.


His work won him praise at the time from defense lawyers but condemnation from police and prosecutors. Bill Mason, then the county prosecutor, told The Plain Dealer in 2004 that Boland “has gone to the Dark Side.

Boland displayed images he created when he testified as an expert witness at a trial in Oklahoma in 2004. A federal judge admonished him to purge the images from his computer, but Boland did not do so. He subsequently used them in two other cases, according to court records.


The FBI opened an investigation and searched his home in 2005. Boland entered a pre-trial diversion agreement with federal prosecutors in Cleveland in April 2007, in which he admitted to violating a federal prohibition about knowingly possessing child pornography.


He published a statement in the Cleveland Bar Journal in which he apologized to the children whose images he used, along with their families. He said he thought his actions were appropriate under the circumstances but recognized that possessing the images violates federal law.

Two of the children whose images Boland altered sued him in September 2007. U.S. District Judge Dan Polster ordered Boland to pay $150,000 in damages to each victim, who went by Jane Doe and Jane Roe in the lawsuit. Boland filed for bankruptcy in 2016 and the victims argued he should not be able to discharge the judgment along with his other debts.


Smith, the bankruptcy judge, held a trial and ruled in 2017 that Boland could discharge the judgment because it was not for a “willful and malicious injury.” She wrote there was no evidence that Boland intended harm or knew it would harm the children.


The 6th Circuit bankruptcy panel, in an opinion written by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Judge Guy Humphrey, wrote that Price Smith conducted the wrong analysis to come to her conclusion.


She should have focused on whether Boland meant “invade the (children’s) legally protected interests” or knew to a certain degree that his actions would do so, the panel wrote. These interests include their reputations, emotional well-being and privacy rights,. [sic]

When focused on that, “the evidence at trial established that Boland knew or was substantially certain” that the children’s’ privacy and other interests would be harmed, the opinion says. Boland’s actions also qualified as “malicious” under federal bankruptcy law, the court ruled.


Jonathan Rosenbaum, an Elyria attorney who represented the victims, declined comment.

(Mike Frisch)

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Posted by: james | Dec 22, 2022 1:10:02 AM

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