FAIRBORN — Ohio House candidate Jocelyn Smith released a text message allegedly sent by her Republican primary opponent, Rep. Rick Perales, which she said proves he is lying about their relationship.
Smith, of Fairborn, alleges that in January 2015 Perales kissed and choked her while they were together in his Jeep after a meeting in a restaurant.
Through his campaign manager, Perales, who represents parts of Greene County in the 73rd District, denies they ever had any kind of physical contact but has admitted he had taken part in inappropriate texting.
The text message exchange — which was released April 18 exclusively to the Xenia Daily Gazette — from a cell phone number matching the number on Perales’ official business card shows a message was sent saying “Ur lips were awesome,” which Smith said proves he kissed her.
“The public has a right to know that Perales is a liar, and is abusing his power because he does not want the truth to come out; however, a lot of embarrassment he and his wife are about to face is all because he lied,” Smith said.
Attached is a screenshot of the exact text exchange. The date the text was sent could not be substantiated.
Released text message exchange
Smith: “I will eventually show face. I should have been on the road 20 min ago but I kept trying to take the perfect pic.”
Perales: “U succeeded.”
Smith: “Glad you like. Have to get bikini ready for Florida next month lol.”
Perales: “Ur lips were awesome.”
Perales’ campaign manager Daniel Palmer said, “Once again we hear more lies from our opponent’s campaign, demonstrating nothing short of sideshow tactics. Today, Representative Perales is focused on veterans issues and meeting with veterans groups. While we encourage people to question the authenticity of anything their campaign says, does, or produces, Representative Perales’ focus will continue to be on the important issues of the 73rd District rather than something that belongs in a tabloid.”
Smith was to take a polygraph to show she was being honest, but it was subsequently cancelled, allegedly due to negative media coverage surrounding polygraph examinations, according to Smith’s campaign manager.
“I did not want to release the text messages because I wanted to spare his wife and family the embarrassment, which is why I wanted to take a polygraph,” Smith said in an official statement released only to the Xenia Gazette. “However, since the (media member redacted) was the reason the polygraph was canceled, and Perales going to the police trying to claim extortion, it leaves no choice because I am backed in a corner.”
Perales filed a police report with Fairborn police April 2 stating Smith is extorting him because of her allegations and her insistence that Perales step down from his elected position and drop out of the race.
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, in a letter to Smith dated April 3, said that if the kissing, choking and fondling allegations are true that she should contact law enforcement officials as it does not fall under the Ohio House of Representatives purview.
However Rosenberger said the legislation for sex accusation would “call into question both ethical and legal concerns.”
Rosenberger has since resigned from his elected position and the status of any possible investigation into Perales is unknown at this point.
Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.