An Ohio state lawmaker who won his office with strong support from the religious right has resigned after being caught having “inappropriate conduct with another man” in his official office.
State Rep. Wes Goodman, 33, was a rising star among evangelical Christian voters. He opposed same-sex marriage and a woman’s right to choose whether to give birth.
He’s married and has a daughter.
The sexual encounter, which was not with a government employee, was consensual. No charges have been brought.
In a statement to the Columbus Dispatch, Goodman said: “We all bring our own struggles and our own trials into public life. That has been true for me, and I sincerely regret that my actions and choices have kept me from serving my constituents and our state in a way that reflects the best ideals of public service. For those whom I have let down, I’m sorry. As I move onto the next chapter of my life, I sincerely ask for privacy for myself, my family, and my friends.”
In the past, Goodman had been accused of fondling at least one teenage male, but party officials and evangelical leader Tony Perkins covered up the incident, according to the Washington Post.
Two years ago, an 18-year-old attending a fundraiser for Goodman at a Washington-area Ritz-Carlton hotel, told his parents that Goodman had unzipped his pants and fondled him in one of the hotel’s guest rooms.
The parents complained both to party leaders and Perkins, who heads the anti-gay Family Research Council, which has been labeled an anti-gay hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
According to the story in the Post, Perkins told the parents, “Trust me . . . this will not be ignored nor swept aside. It will be dealt with swiftly, but with prudence.”
But the incident and others like it were never brought to light, the Post said.
In February, Goodman was named as one of the runner-ups on Third Rail Politics’ “biggest heartthrobs” list.
Goodman is the second Republican lawmaker to leave office due to a sexual scandal during the past month. Republican state Sen. Ohio state Sen. Clifford Hite resigned Oct. 16 after a sexual harassment complaint was filed against him by a female state attorney.
Former state Sen. Cliff Hite repeatedly propositioned the attorney until she filed a sexual harassment complaint on Oct. 11, leading to Hite’s resignation five days later.
The Courier obtained a copy of the complaint against Hite detailing the allegations. According to the complaint, the woman said Hite visited her office repeatedly and told her that he could not stop thinking about her and that he “needed a f— buddy,” the complaint states.
“He said that he had an affair before, that he had a condo, and that no one would ever know,” the complaint states.
“He continued to try to convince her for more than an hour,” the complaint continues. “He provided details about his sex life with his wife, including the length of time since they had engaged in sexual relations … He said that he was a ‘grown man with needs’ and that he needed oral sex.”
The woman turned Hite down eight times before filing the complaint against him.
And yesterday, an Ohio Supreme Court candidate seeking the Democratic nomination for governor, responded to complaints against Sen. Al Franken by posting a Facebook rant detailing his own randy sex life
Justice Bill O’Neill wrote: “As a candidate for governor let me save my opponents some research time. In the last fifty years I was sexually intimate with approximately 50 very attractive females. It ranged from a gorgeous blonde who was my first true love and we made passionate love in the hayloft of her parent’s barn and ended with a drop dead gorgeous red head from Cleveland.”