GOP House Candidate in Ohio Accused of Sexual Assault

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Mark Naymik of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that Tom Ganley, a Republican congressional candidate, has been sued for sexual assault. A lawyer for Ganley, a wealthy businessman challenging Democrat Betty Sutton in Ohio's 13th congressional district, called the charges "baseless allegations" and extortion.

A married mother of four claimed to have met Ganley at a Tea Party rally and been impressed by his anti-abortion rights stance. She offered to volunteer for his campaign:

The woman then visited Ganley's Chevrolet dealership on Lorain Avenue in Cleveland three times during the following weeks, to discuss volunteer campaign duties and a reduction in the interest rate on a car loan she received from a Ganley dealership, the lawsuit says.

Ganley talked during the meetings about fixing her van for free, reducing her interest rate and giving her a job at a dealership, according to the suit.

In their second meeting, Ganley told the woman that he and his wife lead separate lives and live on opposite sides of their home, the suit says. In each of the meetings, the suit says, Ganley pressed her about what she does for "fun."

On her last visit to Ganley's office, Aug. 1, the woman said she dropped off her van for repairs. While she waited in Ganley's office, the suit says, he made sexually suggestive comments and invited her to join him and his friends at a condominium he owns in Strongsville. Ganley gave her a $100 bill and told her to buy some lingerie and high-heeled shoes, according to the lawsuit.

Ganley told her he wanted her to dominate her, parade her on a leash and have sex with her in front of his "play friends," the suit says. It accuses him of grabbing her from behind, wrapping his arms around her, kissing her and, despite her resistance, reaching into her pants.

The woman did not file a police report at the time. Her attorney and Ganley's attorney have participated in mediation talks, but no agreement has been reached. 

Read the full story at the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

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Nicole Allan is a former senior editor at The Atlantic.

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