Ohio judge who defended Al Franken with crass Facebook post apologizes

Image: Ohio Supreme Court Justice William M. O'Neill
Ohio Supreme Court Justice William M. O'Neill.Ohio Supreme Court via NBC 4

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
By Tim Stelloh

The Ohio Supreme Court Justice and Democratic gubernatorial candidate whose attempted defense of Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., drew swift criticism apologized for his comments on Sunday.

"There comes a time in everyone's life when you have to admit you were wrong," William O’Neill wrote in a Facebook post. "It is Sunday morning and [I] am preparing to go to church and get right with God."

Former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland, left, talks with Bill O'Neill during a visit with supporters at the Democratic party headquarters in Mentor, Ohio on Oct. 29, 2010.Amy Sancetta / AP file

O’Neill said in a now-deleted Friday post that as “as 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.”

"In the last fifty years I was sexually intimate with approximately 50 very attractive females," O'Neill wrote. "It ranged from a gorgeous blonde who was my first true love and we made passionate love in the hayloft of her parents barn and ended with a drop dead gorgeous red head from Cleveland."

In another now-deleted post, O'Neill apologized for offending anyone, but added that if he helped elevate the discussion around sexual assault — "as opposed to personal indiscretions" — he made "no apologies."

On Sunday, O’Neill asked for forgiveness from his daughters and sisters and said he had “damaged” the debate on sexual harassment and rape.

"It is not a laughing matter," he said. "It wasn't when I prosecuted sexual misconduct for the State of Ohio, and it is not now."