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Somerset County DA Update

Two different protection orders have been filed in court since Somerset County District Attorney Jeff Thomas was arrested Wednesday for allegedly raping a woman in Windber.

Both sets of temporary orders were filed in the hours after he was released from jail on charges of 1st-degree felony rape, felony criminal trespassing, and other related misdemeanors.

The first order filed Thursday appears to be from the woman who accused Thomas. Pennsylvania State Police allege in Thomas’ criminal complaint that he went into the woman’s home uninvited with beer in hand, struck her during an argument about him leaving, then took off her clothes, held her down, and raped her.

Thomas was also given another protection order from a second woman on Friday. She said in her filing that the two have had intimate relations, but that on numerous occasions Thomas also came to her home uninvited while intoxicated.

Hearings on the two protection orders are scheduled were scheduled for Friday. Thomas’ attorney Ryan Tutera said Monday he is withholding comment on the protection orders until after Friday’s hearing, but last week said his client denies the criminal charges.

Tutera also said Monday he believes a preliminary hearing scheduled for Wednesday on the criminal case will not happen as planned as there is a jurisdictional hearing scheduled for later in the week to formally give the case to the attorney general’s office.

Thomas is still in office, but The Somerset County District Attorney’s Office said Monday he has not been at work since his arrest.

There’s been no word on if Thomas plans to stay in office long term, but If Thomas does not resign from office, there are three ways Thomas could be removed from office:

If a conviction happens in this case.
If Thomas is suspended by The Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. However, the board conducts investigations and hearings in private and only publicly releases their outcomes after the process is complete.
The Pennsylvania Senate can vote to impeach him. So far, there have been no calls for that to happen in the Republican-controlled legislature, against the Republican DA.

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