Candidate pleads guilty to coercion in text-related campaign


XENIA, Ohio (AP) — A Republican woman who sought to unseat an Ohio lawmaker by revealing sexual text messages they exchanged has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor coercion charge related to her tactics.

The Dayton Daily News reports 37-year-old nurse Jocelyn Smith, of Fairborn, recently entered the plea in Greene County in a deal with prosecutors who agreed to drop a felony extortion charge.

Smith was indicted last year on the charges related to her unsuccessful GOP primary campaign against state Rep. Rick Perales, of Beavercreek.

Smith used a 2015 text exchange with Perales, which he acknowledged. She released partial texts, escalated allegations against Perales to include assault and demanded he resign or see further texts released.

A magistrate suspended a 90-day jail sentence for Smith.

Messages were left for Smith’s attorney.