Republican Ohio House candidate Jocelyn Smith will not be taking the polygraph test she had earlier said she would take today in her effort to prove she is telling the truth about her allegations that her opponent, state Rep. Rick Perales choked, kissed and fondled her in 2015.
Her campaign says the test will take place at a later time.
“The polygraph examiner has canceled the appointment with Jocelyn Smith scheduled for today after hearing from a member of the news media yesterday,” her campaign adviser, Ralph Wunder, said in an emailed news release.
The Dayton Daily News contacted the owner, who said, “I am not conducting nor have I ever conducted a polygraph examination on Jocelyn Smith.”
Wunder said he would reschedule the polygraph examination with another examiner and said “this was neither the choice nor the decision of the campaign” to cancel the polygraph.
Smith and Perales are facing off in the May 8 Republican primary for the 73rd Ohio House district seat that includes much of western Greene County including Beavercreek, Fairborn and Bellbrook.
Smith has said that Perales forcefully kissed and choked her in his Jeep in January 2015. Perales denies the allegation but says he had a brief sexting relationship with Smith.
Perales declined comment on the cancellation of the polygraph test.
The cancellation comes after the Daily News provided background on the tests for an article that ran in Thursday’s editions. In the article, Tom Hagel, professor emeritus of law at the University of Dayton, said the tests are rarely admissible in court and the accuracy has been questioned.
“With polygraph tests the science is something like voodoo,” Hagel told the newspaper. “It’s been tested over and over and over again and it’s not come close to meeting scientific standards. The public puts great stock in them, it seems, since all their information comes from television sets.”
The company that Wunder originally said would do the test is not being named because Wunder did not publicly release the name. However, in an interview the owner said polygraph tests are used for a variety of investigative purposes. The results, he said, depend on many factors and are “not 100 percent. Nothing is.”
Randy Alexander, president of the Ohio Association of Polygraph Examiners, also defended the tests.
“There have been several great changes in polygraph over the years, including computerized polygraph instruments and validated testing methods,”Alexander said in an email. “When combined with expert polygraph training, the polygraph is a very reliable and highly accurate method of determining an individuals truthfulness.”
In his Wednesday news release Wunder had said that the firm Smith hired to do the polygraph test “has no ties or prior connection” to her and is is “state-certified.”
However, Ohio does not have certification or licensing requirement for polygraph examiners.
This week Smith, who lives in Fairborn, added fondling to her list of allegations against Perales, and also says he refused to sponsor a bill for a special license plate for cancer victims because she would not have sex with him.
Perales denies the allegations, saying he never touched Smith intimately and that he co-sponsored a House version of a Senate bill that included the license plate measure. He also accuses Smith of sending him topless photos, which Smith denies.
Smith has challenged Perales to take a polygraph test and offered to pay for it. She has also said he should resign or leave the race for a seat he has held for three terms.
In an interview Wednesday, Perales’ campaign manager, Daniel Palmer, said: “(Perales) is not going to fall prey to the bullying tactics (Smith) has engaged in so freely during the course of this campaign. He is not going to respond to her dubious, continuously evolving claims and gimmicks, and that includes the administering of a polygraph test.”
The winner in the GOP primary between Smith and Perales will face Democrat Kim McCarthy of Sugarcreek Twp. in the Nov. 6 General Election.
Other stories by Lynn Hulsey