After boasting of sex with 50 women, Supreme Court judge apologizes

12:47 p.m Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017
Ohio Supreme Court Justice William M. O Neill. JOSHUA A. BICKEL/THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH

An Ohio Supreme Court justice is apologizing for a recent Facebook post in which he boasted of having sex with about 50 women over 50 years.

“There comes a time in everyone’s life when you have to admit you were wrong,” Justice William O’Neill posted on his Facebook page Sunday.

“It is Sunday morning and I am preparing to go to church and get right with God,” the Democrat wrote. “But first I have to get right with my family, my friends, and the thousands of strangers who have been hurt by my insensitive remarks.

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“I am sorry. I have damaged the national debate on the very real subject of sexual harassment, abuse and unfortunately rape. It is not a laughing matter. It wasn’t when I prosecuted sexual misconduct for the state of Ohio, and it is not now,” the justice wrote.

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He went on to apologize to his daughters and his sisters, saying, “Please accept my public apology for dragging you into this matter. You deserved better treatment than this. I love you, respect you, and yes, I was wrong. Thank you for loving me enough to stand up to my departure from a loving life.”

O’Neill’s earlier remarks drew international attention and sparked a reaction across the Internet. On Friday evening, O’Neill, also a candidate for Ohio governor, said observers should “lighten up.”

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“This is how Democrats remain in the minority,” he wrote on Facebook Friday evening.

O’Neill has since removed his original Facebook post, which was written after charges of harassment first surfaced late last week against Minnesota senator Al Franken, a fellow Democrat.

Reaction to his statement Sunday on Facebook was steady. One correspondent said she planned to vote for O’Neill anyway; others accepted the apology or told him, “too little, too late.”

“You’re an idiot,” wrote one commenter on the justice’s Facebook page, Sue Castner.