O'Neill, who announced that he is running for governor in 2018, has already stirred up controversy by holding his seat on the state supreme court until he submits his petitions for candidacy. The post was immediately attacked as inappropriate and led to calls for his ouster.
Connie Pillich, who is also running for governor, agreed the justice should resign, tweeting, "there's nothing amusing about sexual assault". In the post, he derided, what he called, the "feeding frenzy about sexual indiscretions from decades ago" that is now so prevalent in the news.
Ohio Democratic Chairman David Pepper also commented on the quickly escalating controversy, calling it "just a awful post" that dehumanized women and trivialized an important national conversation about rape culture and sexual assault.
"Justice O'Neill's Facebook comments both dehumanize women and do nothing but trivialize this important conversation, which is actually about harassment and abuse, not encounters between consenting adults", he said.
Christopher Clevenger says on Twitter that, as a victim of sexual assault, he "cannot in good faith" remain a part of O'Neill's campaign team.
O'Neill told the Dayton Daily News that he was indeed responsible for the post.
In an interview with cleveland.com, O'Neill confirmed he penned the post and defended Franken and Moore. In the process, O'Neill described his own sexual history, which he proclaimed included sex with "approximately" 50 partners over the course of the past 50 years.
An Ohio Supreme Court justice with gubernatorial aspirations is raising eyebrows with his response to sexual misconduct allegations against Sen.
Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O'Conner condemned his post Friday afternoon: "I condemn in no uncertain terms Justice O'Neill's Facebook post".
Republican Lieutenant Governor Mary Taylor said it was a "crass post is ill-timed and dismissive at best".
Local politicians also pushed back against the post. He said nothing in the post seemed to show O'Neill would exhibit bias in the cases he hears - including those involving criminal charges of sexual misconduct - but that judges have historically steered clear of making the type of statement O'Neill made Friday. He said he revealed details about himself because he suspects, as a governor candidate, he'll soon also be a media target.
Candidate and former U.S. Rep. Betty Sutton said "I'm outraged he would equate sexual assault with indiscretion". He goes on to refer to a "gorgeous blonde" who was his true love, as well as a "drop dead gorgeous redhead from Cleveland".