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Another Ohio GOP Lawmaker Faces Sexual Harassment Allegations

Photo of Perales
Perales is the fifth GOP lawmaker in Ohio who has come under fire for sexual harassment or inappropriate comments in the last year.

Another state representative is being accused of inappropriate sexual behavior. Ohio Public Radio’s Jo Ingles reports.

Republican Rep. Rick Perales is being accused of an inappropriate relationship with constituent Jocelyn Smith, who says Perales choked and kissed her against her will three years ago. Smith is now running against Perales in the primary.

Brad Miller, a spokesman for House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger, says Rosenberger knew there had been some interaction between the two in the past but just learned about the allegation of physical abuse, and that the speaker takes these matters very seriously. But he says things are at an information gathering stage.

Last year, two Republican lawmakers resigned for inappropriate conduct, and two others apologized for remarks made at a party earlier this year.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment. Jo started her career in Louisville, Kentucky in the mid 80’s when she helped produce a televised presidential debate for ABC News, worked for a creative services company and served as a general assignment report for a commercial radio station. In 1989, she returned back to her native Ohio to work at the WOSU Stations in Columbus where she began a long resume in public radio.