Over 30 sources said they were targets of sexual misconduct on the part of former Ohio state Rep. Wes Goodman, who resigned from the legislature in November 2017 after being caught in "inappropriate behavior" with a man in his office.
The Independent Journal Review reported that Goodman, an anti-LGBT politician who purported to be an advocate for "family values," allegedly engaged in a troubling pattern of behavior, which involved attempts to solicit sex from young men, ages 18 to 24, on social media apps. According to dozens of sources in the report, Goodman would reach out to college students on Facebook who had mutual friends in conservative circles.
"Ready for the weekend?" Goodman questioned one source on Facebook Messenger. Shortly afterward, he added, "Can't beat sitting around in your underwear lol" and "can't beat sitting at home drinking beer in your underwear lol." Goodman was more explicit on Snapchat, where messages are erased after a limited amount of time. He seemed unaware, however, that screenshots could be saved. In screenshots shared on IJR, Goodman wrote, "I'm so hard," and "You should be here getting your dick sucked."
Sources claimed that Goodman also shared photographs of his penis on Snapchat, and provided one of the photos to IJR, which censored it. One source said that Goodman would frequently text late at night to say "that his wife was out of town or asleep."
The majority of sources who spoke with IJR never personally encountered Goodman. However, The Washington Post published a troubling account that involved sexual harassment. In 2015, Goodman allegedly unzipped the pants of an 18-year-old and groped him while he was sleeping in a Ritz-Carlton hotel room near Washington, D.C. The teen was there attending a conservative conference with his parents. He fled to them.
Goodman, a Republican, was elected to represent the 87th District, in north-central Ohio, in 2016. He promoted himself as a Christian conservative and said on his campaign website, "healthy, vibrant, thriving, values-driven families are the source of Ohio’s proud history."
Goodman, 33, who is married to a woman, issued an apology after his resignation last week: "We all bring our own struggles and our own trials into public life. That has been true for me, and I sincerely regret that my actions and choices have kept me from serving my constituents and our state in a way that reflects the best ideals of public service. For those whom I have let down, I’m sorry. As I move onto the next chapter of my life, I sincerely ask for privacy for myself, my family, and my friends."