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GOP Candidate Indicted For Extortion After Releasing Lawmaker's Lewd Texts

Rick Perales and Jocelyn Smith
Jocelyn Smith (right) was indicted related to her unsuccessful GOP primary campaign to useat Rick Perales (left) in Ohio’s 73rd District.";

A Republican woman who sought to unseat Ohio state Rep. Rick Perales by revealing sexual text messages they exchanged is now facing criminal charges for doing just that.

Fairborn nurse Jocelyn Smith, 36, 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 in Ohio’s 73rd District.

Smith, who accused Perales of choking and forcibly kissing her, had vowed in March to release the texts if Perales didn’t drop his reelection bid. Perales, a married father of four, admitted sending inappropriate texts and pictures but denied assaulting her.

After Perales refused to leave the race, Smith released some of the texts – threatening to divulge more if he didn’t resign. Perales filed a criminal complaint against her in April for extortion.

Despite Smith’s high-profile tactics, Perales won May’s election in a landslide, garnering 81 percent of the vote. He’ll face Democratic challenger Kim McCarthy inn November.

Smith's attorney calls the indictment a witch hunt by the "good-old-boys" network.

Her arraignment is July 6.

Gabe Rosenberg joined WOSU in October 2016. As digital news editor, Gabe reports breaking news and edits all content for the WOSU website, as well as manages the station's social media accounts.