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Republican Challenger Tells Rick Perales To Leave Primary Or She’ll Release Lewd Texts

Rick Perales and Jocelyn Smith
Perales admits sending Smith inappropriate text messages, but denies assaulting her.

A woman who says state Rep. Rick Perales choked and forcibly kissed her has an ultimatum: Drop his bid for reelection or she’ll release graphic text messages he sent her.

The comments from Jocelyn Smith on Tuesday follow her earlier allegations against the Republican legislator, who represents Ohio’s 73rd District. Smith is now running against Perales in the May Republican primary for the Dayton-area district.

Smith says she met Perales at a restaurant in 2015 to seek help as a constituent and was assaulted by Perales in his Jeep afterwards.

Smith says she continued interacting with Perales because she thought it could help her professionally. She says Perales sent her inappropriate messages, some of which include pictures.

“Please don’t force me to release the rest of the text messages and other mountains of evidence,” Smith said during a campaign press conference. “I think you know the honorable thing to do is to step down.”

Both Smith and Perales say they did not have sex. Perales, a married father of four, admits sending Smith inappropriate text messages but denies assaulting her.

Ohio House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger says he's aware of Smith's allegations and wanted to gather information before rushing to judgment.

Tuesday’s press conference ended when a woman in the audience tried to ask a question. That woman, later identified as Teri Hobbs by the Dayton Daily News, told the paper she knew Smith and that Smith has made similar accusations in the past.

The paper obtained Smith’s personnel record from Clark County, where she was fired from her job as a sheriff’s deputy in 2008 after being accused of showing co-workers topless pictures of herself, having an inappropriate relationship with a former inmate and insubordinate behavior.

Smith told the Dayton Daily News she was fired for refusing the sexual advances of a former sheriff.

The newspaper cites Clark County court records showing a civil protection order was issued against Smith in 2009 after a former boyfriend accused her of harassment. The paper says a Warren County judge in 2014 placed her in a diversion program for three counts of telephone harassment of a man.