Former statehouse candidate takes plea deal in extortion case

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Jocelyn Smith faces a third-degree felony count of extortion as well as other charges related to alleged threats she made during her campaign against State Rep. Rick Perales, R-Beavercreek.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Jocelyn Smith, who unsuccessfully ran against State Rep. Rick Perales, R-Beavercreek, in the Republican primary last year, has admitted to coercion as part of a plea agreement.

Smith, 37, of Fairborn, changed her plea to guilty to the second-degree misdemeanor while the more serious charge of extortion, a third-degree felony, was dismissed as part of a deal with the special prosecutor from Madison County, Stephen J. Pronai, according to records with Greene County Common Pleas Court.

RELATED >>> Trial date set for former GOP statehouse candidate in extortion case

Visiting U.S. Magistrate Judge Timothy S. Hogan suspended the 90-day jail sentence but imposed monitored time and a $500 fine, to be paid within 180 days, according to court records.

Court officials said the hearing occurred in the judge’s chambers, and there is no video recording of the proceedings.

Smith was charged in April 2018 after Perales filed a complaint with Fairborn police following 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.

RELATED: Ohio House Rep. denies opponent's claim he kissed and choked her

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Perales: My opponent is extorting me

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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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, who is married, 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. Perales said Smith sent him topless photos of herself but that he did not send any sexually oriented photos to her.

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.

Smith is a registered nurse case manager at Sheakley Unicomp and a teacher at Fortis College.

In October, Smith’s attorney Ben Swift was replaced by Columbus-based attorney Dustin Blake.

Messages left by this news organization seeking comment from Blake and Prosecutor Pronai were not returned.

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