XENIA — A former Ohio House candidate has been indicted in Greene County Common Pleas Court.
Court records indicate a grand jury recently charged Jocelyn Smith, 36, of Fairborn, with extortion — a third-degree felony — and coercion — a second-degree misdemeanor.
In the May 8 Republican primary, Smith took a shot at unseating incumbent Rick Perales from his spot as representative of Ohio’s 73rd District, which includes western and north central Greene County. Perales defeated his opponent 80 percent to 19 percent on election night.
The campaign turned dramatic quickly when an alleged relationship between the two became public.
Smith alleged that in January 2015 Perales kissed and choked her while they were together in his Jeep after a meeting in a restaurant. Perales repeatedly denied they ever had any kind of physical contact but admitted he had taken part in inappropriate texting.
In March, Smith sent a letter to then-Speaker Clifford Rosenberger, asking the Ohio House of Representatives to investigate the allegations against Perales, which included exchanging sex for legislation. Rosenberger responded via letter in April, stating that if the allegations were true that she should contact law enforcement officials. Smith said she would follow the speaker’s recommendation. Rosenberger has since resigned.
In April, Perales filed a complaint with Fairborn Police Department stating Smith was extorting him through her allegations and her insistence that he step down from his elected position and drop out of the race.
At the time, Greene County Prosecutor Stephen Haller asked Madison County Prosecutor Stephan J. Pronai to review the evidence in the case and decide how the case would move forward because of Perales’ connection to Greene County as a former commissioner.
Smith will be arraigned Friday, July 6 in Greene County, according to court records. Judge Michael Buckwalter is handling the case.
Scott Halasz contributed to this report.