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Trial date set for former GOP statehouse candidate in extortion case

A former Republican statehouse candidate faces an October trial date on charges related to statements she made about her opponent, State Rep. Rick Perales, R-Beavercreek, in their primary race this year. 

Jocelyn Smith, 36, of Fairborn, faces a third-degree felony count of extortion and a second-degree misdemeanor count of coercion, according to court records of the secret indictment filed June 15. 

She pleaded not guilty in July. 

On Friday in Greene County Common Pleas Court, lawyers for the prosecution and defense met in chambers with a judge for about 30 minutes, setting an Oct. 29 trial date. 

RELATED: Perales GOP opponent indicted for extortion and coercion 

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Smith has been out on her own recognizance. Smith is a registered nurse case manager at Sheakley Unicomp and a teacher at Fortis College. 

Perales, a former Greene County commissioner and Beavercreek councilman, has represented the western Greene County 73rd District since 2013. 

On May 8 Perales defeated Smith 80 percent to 20 percent. Perales faces Kim McCarthy, a Sugarcreek Twp. Democrat, in the Nov. 6 General Election. 

During the primary campaign, 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 

Perales, who is married, admits sending inappropriate sexually oriented text messages to Smith during a brief consensual relationship in early 2015 but denies 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. 

Smith denied sending the pictures and said that because she refused to have sex with him Perales would not sponsor a pancreatic cancer specialty license plate bill she supported. State records show Perales did co-sponsor and vote for a bill establishing the specialty plate. 

RELATED: Perales prevails over Smith in bizarre Greene County statehouse race 

The indictment stems from a complaint accusing Smith of extortion that Perales filed with Fairborn Police in April after Smith held a March 27 news conference in Fairborn. At the news conference, Smith said that if Perales did not resign from the state legislature and withdraw from the Republican primary, she would release texts and other documentation she said proved her allegations. 

“Please don’t force me to release the rest of the text messages and other mountains of evidence,” Smith said at the news conference. “I think you know the honorable thing to do is to step down.” 

RELATED: ‘Don’t force me to release the rest of the text messages,’ local candidate tells lawmaker 

Perales questioned Smith’s credibility, saying her story changed multiple times and pointing to court cases involving her. 

Jocelyn Smith stands with her attorney Ben Swift during her arraignment at the Greene County Courthouse in Xenia Friday, July 20, 2018. (Jim Otte)

RELATED: Polygraph test for local statehouse candidate canceled

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