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Seneca County Judge Mark Repp facing suspension for ordering courtroom bystander to jail

Repp demanded a woman take a drug test and sentenced her to 10 days in jail when she refused.

TIFFIN, Ohio — The fate of a Seneca County judge is in the hands of the Ohio Supreme Court.

Judge Mark Repp, an 18 year veteran of the court, waived his objections to the findings from the Board of Professional Conduct. That recommendation is for a year-long suspension, which would prohibit Judge Repp from serving on the bench.

The grievance against Judge Repp stems from a March 2020 incident where Alexzandria Orta observed her boyfriend Trevor Danner's case in court. According to court documents, Judge Repp called Orta out from the bench and referred to her as a drug addict during an unrelated hearing. 

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Judge Repp suspected she was high and ordered her to take a drug test. When she refused and said she was not on drugs, the judge sentenced her to 10 days in jail.

"I don't know that she'll ever feel the same walking into a courtroom," said Dean Henry, Orta's attorney. "That is the one place where you should be able to count on the fact your rights will not be violated."

A prosecutor dropped the charges the next day. Orta said her biggest worry was who would look after her children while she and her husband were both in jail.

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She was not on trial or on probation, and had never been charged with a drug-related offense. She was subjected to several invasive searches, including pregnancy tests, and according Henry, an MRI to check if drugs were inside her body.

Her attorney says Orta was detained for approximately 24 hours. Repp has admitted in court documents that he treated Orta inappropriately, but contends that the incident was an aberration. 

Miss Orta is considering a lawsuit against Repp. However, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in the past that judges are immune from lawsuits if they are acting in an official capacity within the courtroom.

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