GOP candidate faces extortion charge in text-fueled campaign


Associated Press

COLUMBUS

A Republican woman who sought to unseat an Ohio lawmaker by revealing sexual text messages they exchanged is facing criminal charges related to her tactics.

The Dayton Daily News reports 36-year-old nurse Jocelyn Smith, of Fairborn, was indicted June 15 on a third-degree felony count of extortion and a second-degree misdemeanor count of coercion related to her unsuccessful GOP primary campaign against state Rep. Rick Perales, of Beavercreek.

Smith used a 2015 text exchange with Perales, which he acknowledged, in an unusual MeToo-fueled primary bid.

She launched her campaign with a partial release of the texts, escalated allegations against Perales to include assault, then demanded he resign or see further texts released.

Smith’s attorney calls the indictment a witch hunt by the “good-old-boys” network.

Her arraignment is July 6.

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