The trial for suspended Somerset County District Attorney Jeff Thomas is scheduled to begin Wednesday.
Thomas faces charges for allegedly sexually assaulting a Windber woman inside her home.
While Thomas is no stranger to jury trials, on Wednesday, he will not be on the side of the prosecution, but on the defense side.
A Somerset County jury will decide his fate in perhaps the most high-profile case the county has ever seen.
The jurors will hear opening arguments about the case from September of 2021, as Thomas is facing sexual assault, simple assault, strangulation, and a slew of other related charges.
Prosecutors allege that Thomas entered the woman’s home uninvited, carrying beer, and following a verbal and physical argument where she told him to leave, he allegedly pushed her down and sexually assaulted her.
Cambria County Senior Judge Timothy Creany has been overseeing the case, which will be prosecuted by the state attorney general’s office, given the obvious conflict of interests for local prosecutors and judges.
The sex assault charges came after Thomas was at the center of smaller personal and criminal incidents, which his attorneys say shows what the local political climate in Somerset County is, and the political vendettas against him.
Since then, Thomas was also charged for physically assaulting his wife during a Facetime call while the couple was driving in Cambria County, and he later accepted a plea deal to a summary offense of reckless driving in a witness intimidation case.
Following the creation of a new law, Thomas was suspended without pay by the county.
He has appealed that ruling, saying that the law cannot be applied retroactively.
The DA’s office is now run by Molly Metzgar, on an acting basis, though she is running for election for a full term.
Thomas will not be running, as a Republican at least, as the deadline to petition to be on the primary ballot came and went on Tuesday.
In theory, he could still run as an independent come the November election as that deadline is August 1st.
We reached out to Thomas and his attorney about if he would run, but we have not heard back.
And be sure to stay with us on-air and online for complete coverage of Thomas’ trial, which begins at 9 a.m. on Wednesday.