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Seneca County Judge Mark Repp suspended one year for ordering spectator to take drug, pregnancy tests

This suspension is without pay and he also was ordered to stop practicing law in Ohio for one year.

SENECA COUNTY, Ohio — The Ohio Supreme Court suspended a Seneca County judge Tuesday for one year after he held a spectator in contempt and ordered her to take pregnancy and drug tests.

In June, the Board of Professional Conduct recommended a one-year suspension without pay. That ruling was upheld Tuesday by the Ohio Supreme Court Disciplinary Counsel.

Repp is also suspended from practicing law in Ohio for one year.

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. 

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.

A prosecutor dropped the charges the next day.

Orta 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 an MRI to check if drugs were inside her body.

Her attorney said 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. 

"We agree with the board's assessment and conclude that a one-year suspension with no stay will best protect the public and send a strong message to the judiciary that this type of misconduct will not be tolerated," the court said in a written opinion.

Seneca County Bar Association President James Fruth told WTOL 11 a decision like this cannot be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

"State bars govern their own membership," he said. "No federal issue of law here."

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