Ohio car magnate and one-time Republican congressional candidate Tom Ganley has been indicted on charges that include gross sexual imposition and kidnapping. The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that Ganley faces three felony charges of gross sexual imposition, and single counts of kidnapping, abduction, solicitation, and menacing by stalking.
The Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s office told WEWS that the charges stem from an incident in Cleveland on Aug. 1, 2009, when a woman was getting her car repaired at one of Ganley’s dealerships.
The woman filed a civil suit in the fall, when Ganley was running against Rep. Betty Sutton (D-OH). The civil suit alleged that the woman, a married mother of four described in the suit as “a conservative Republican and a fervent believer in Christian Family Values, an ardent supporter of Right to Life, and a dedicated opponent of abortion,” met Ganley at a Tea Party rally in Cleveland in July. On later dates, the two later discussed her working for his campaign. On August 1, according to the civil suit, the woman brought her van to Ganley’s dealership for some repair work, and then met with Ganley in his office. There, Ganley allegedly told her he wanted to have “fun” with her, and take her to a condo he owned and parade her around on a leash in front of his friends. Ganley then allegedly approached her, kissed her, groped her, stuck his hand down her pants and tried to pull her into a bathroom.
“We’ve cooperated with law enforcement and supplied information, and frankly we’re surprised that the decision was made to proceed with the indictment,” Ganley attorney Brent Buckley told the Plain Dealer. “In the end, Tom Ganley refused to write a check to buy silence here. It was not a financial decision, it was an integrity point of view for Mr. Ganley and it was a check he couldn’t write.”
An arraignment date has not been set. TPM’s attempts to reach the prosecutor’s office were not immediately successful.
Eric Lach is a reporter for TPM. From 2010 to 2011, he was a news writer in charge of the website’s front page. He has previously written for The Daily, NewYorker.com, GlobalPost and other publications. He can be reached at ericl(at)talkingpointsmemo.com