Ohio high court justice condemns sexual-indiscretion ‘feeding frenzy,’ defends ‘heterosexual males’


Bill O'Neill

Ohio Supreme Court Justice Bill O’Neill. Image from Twitter.

Updated: An Ohio Supreme Court justice who is running as a Democrat for governor has created a firestorm in a Facebook post asserting he was “sooooo disappointed by this national feeding frenzy about sexual indiscretions decades ago.”

Justice Bill O’Neill wrote the post Friday, the Cincinnati Enquirer and the Dayton Daily News report. “Now that the dogs of war are calling for the head of Senator Al Franken, I believe it is time to speak up on behalf of all heterosexual males,” he said.

He went on to say he has been “sexually intimate with approximately 50 very attractive females” during the last 50 years. One woman was “a gorgeous blonde” with whom he made love in the hayloft of her parents’ barn, and another was a “drop dead gorgeous red head,” he said.

O’Neill confirmed that he wrote the post. It has been shortened from a previous version with more identifying information about two women he mentioned.

Four hours after he posted, more than 350 people had commented. “Your attitude toward women who are finally brave enough to speak out about their experiences is disgusting,” one commenter wrote.

The reaction extended beyond Facebook. O’Neill’s campaign manager tweeted his resignation, three women running for governor as Democrats called for O’Neill to resign, and Ohio Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor issued a statement condemning the Facebook post “in no uncertain terms.”

“No words can convey my shock,” O’Connor wrote. “This gross disrespect for women shakes the public’s confidence in the integrity of the judiciary.”

Franken, a Minnesota Democrat, has been accused of forcibly kissing a fellow entertainer in 2006 while practicing a skit on a USO tour. The woman also says Franken groped her breasts while she was asleep and chronicled the misconduct in a photograph.

O’Neill was already creating controversy by remaining on the Ohio Supreme Court while running for governor. The Ohio Code of Judicial Conduct requires judges running for partisan office to resign; O’Neill contends the ethics rule doesn’t apply to him because he has not yet filed his petitions for candidacy, according to the Dayton Daily News.

O’Neill has previously said he will drop out of the race if Richard Cordray decides to run. Cordray has announced he is resigning as director of the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

O’Neill’s post, which was later taken down:

O’Neill later put up this post:

Updated 7:49 p.m. to note that the original post was taken down and another posted.

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