Criminal case against former statehouse candidate expunged

A Greene County criminal case was expunged Friday morning involving a woman who ran for a statehouse seat and later pleading guilty to coercion against her political opponent. Her husband says it won’t be easy for either to move on.

Jerry Ferrell, Jocelyn Smith’s husband, said the case still angers him and has cost him thousands of dollars.

“This burns on me. Not a day goes by that this doesn’t burn on me,” Ferrell said, saying that he believes his wife is innocent and a victim of a rigged system.

Former statehouse candidate takes plea deal in extortion case

Smith previously pleaded guilty to a second-degree misdemeanor in a plea agreement that dropped a third-degree felony extortion charge. Visiting U.S. Magistrate Judge Timothy S. Hogan sentenced Smith to a suspended 90-day jail sentence and a $500 fine, according to court records.

Ferrell said it was wrong that Smith faced criminal prosecution.

“Jocelyn came from nothing, she came from Cedarville, Ohio, from a single black mother, grew up to become a nurse with a master’s degree, and she wanted to be a part of and get involved with this community,” he said.

Smith declined to comment for this article Friday but invited a reporter to speak with her husband.

Smith’s legal troubles began when she was charged in April 2018 after State Rep. Rick Perales, R-Beavercreek, filed a complaint with Fairborn police after statements she made during a news conference the previous month.

Smith alleged that Perales had choked, forcibly kissed, fondled and sexted with her in 2015.

At the news conference, Smith addressed Perales, stating, “Please don’t force me to release the rest of the text messages and other mountains of evidence … I think you know the honorable thing to do is to step down.”

Perales admitted sending inappropriate sexually-oriented text messages to Smith during a brief consensual relationship in early 2015 but denied that he choked, kissed or touched her in any intimate way. He was never charged.

Perales beat Smith in the GOP primary 80 percent to 20 percent and kept his statehouse seat in November, beating Democratic challenger Kim McCarthy 60 percent to 40 percent.

He told the Dayton Daily News on Friday that he felt the case was fairly adjudicated in court, that she complied with all the court orders after the plea and that he thinks its time to move on from the case.

Ohio House Rep. denies opponent’s claim he kissed and choked her

During the Friday court hearing, Smith’s attorney Alfred Schneble III said his client wanted the case expunged so she can advance in her nursing career.

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