Ohio lawmaker claims extortion as GOP rival airs racy texts


COLUMBUS (AP) — A Republican running against an Ohio lawmaker with whom she exchanged sexual text messages has followed through on her threat to release more texts, even as the legislator pursues an extortion claim against her.

Jocelyn Smith, of Fairborn, vowed in April to divulge additional texts if Republican Rep. Rick Perales, of Beavercreek, didn’t resign. Perales told local authorities April 3 her threats are criminal.

The latest texts Smith released are discussions of sex acts. Perales says in one text he’s messaging her from a Republican caucus meeting.

Perales’ campaign said it couldn’t say whether the texts are authentic, but a spokesman said Perales never texted her from caucus. Perales has acknowledged the relationship.

Perales says he made his wife and then-House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger aware in 2016 and won’t resign.

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