Eric Deaton, Tea Party-Backed Ohio Senate Candidate, Indicted For Sex With A Minor

Eric Deaton, a Constitution Party candidate running for the seat Sen. George Voinovich (R-Ohio) is vacating (with the help of endorsements from Tea Party and family values groups) has been indicted for unlawful sexual conduct with a minor that he supposedly met at his church.

Deaton responded to the allegations Wednesday, denying charges that he had sexual contact between March 2006 and 2007 with a 15 year old girl that he had first encountered as an elder in his congregation. He also said that he plans to stay in the race despite the timing of the case.

WDTN reports that the Perry Township Police Department believes Deaton tutored the girl and invited her to work around his home. Police also say they have incriminating hotel receipts and surveillance video that will make their case, though Deaton's attorney says this evidence will prove his innocence.

The charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Deaton will fight the charges in court on September 14th.

According to his website, Deaton also likes stamp & coin collecting, firearms, vintage muscle cars and is currently a local Cub Scout leader.

Watch WDTN's report on Deaton's indictment: