Ohio judge says he doesn't regret Facebook post outlining his sexual conquests

Judge William O’Neill has deleted the post but maintains he was in the right

Emily Shugerman
New York
Sunday 19 November 2017 23:05 GMT
William O'Neill, an Ohio appeals court judge, laughs during a campaign stop in Mentor, Ohio
William O'Neill, an Ohio appeals court judge, laughs during a campaign stop in Mentor, Ohio (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta)

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An Ohio Supreme Court justice and Democratic gubernatorial candidate has deleted a Facebook post outlining his sexual history, but maintains that he was “in the right” for posting it.

Judge William O’Neill’s original Facebook status was a defence of Democratic Senator Al Franken, who has admitted to kissing and groping a woman without her consent. In the post, he criticised “the dogs of war” who were calling on Mr Franken to resign, and detailed his own sexual history in striking detail.

“In the last 50 years I was sexually intimate with approximately 50 very attractive females,” he wrote. “It ranged from a gorgeous blonde who was my first true love and we made passionate love in the hayloft of her parents barn and ended with a drop dead gorgeous red head from Cleveland”.

The post drew outcry from many, including Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor, who said the judge’s “gross disrespect for women shakes the public’s confidence in the integrity of the judiciary”.

Mr O’Neill later removed the post and replaced it with one apologising to anyone he had offended. He also added that people should “lighten up”.

“This is how Democrats remain in the minority,” he wrote.

The judge told the Associated Press he had deleted the post after an internet commenter pointed out that it could be used to identify several of the women he mentioned. He said he did not regret writing the post, but took it down because he is “a gentleman”.

Mr O’Neill also argued that the original intent of his post had been misunderstood, and maintained that he was not an “insensitive misogynist”. He said he had written the post because discussions of sexual harassment had lead people to treat Mr Franken and Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore “in the exact same fashion”.

Mr Moore has been accused of sexually assaulting and harassing girls in their teens. He has denied the allegations.

Mr O’Neill has mounted a bid for governor of Ohio, but said he would step down if fellow Democrat Richard Cordray decided to run. Mr Cordray resigned as head of the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau earlier this week, which many saw as a prelude to entering the race.

Asked what effect the Facebook post would have on his political career, Mr O’Neill said: “I think it’s clear it’s not going to help me. But sometimes when you’re right, you do have to stand alone. And I am right here.”

Additional reporting by AP

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