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Ohio judge who defended Al Franken with crass Facebook post apologizes

by Tim Stelloh /
Ohio Supreme Court Justice William M. O'Neill.Ohio Supreme Court via NBC 4

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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."

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