A Republican district attorney in Pennsylvania who styled himself as a tough-on-crime prosecutor has been arrested and charged with violently raping a female acquaintance in her own home, according to Pennsylvania State Police (PSP).
In their press release, Police said that Somerset County DA Jeffrey Lynn Thomas, 36, attacked the unidentified woman on Sept. 18, having first contacted her on Snapchat to say he’d be coming over in a few minutes. A criminal complaint obtained by the Somerset County, Pennsylvania Tribune-Democrat states that the woman knew Thomas in a professional capacity and that she had for years rebuffed his persistent sexual advances.
Thomas sent the Snapchat message at around 11 p.m. last Saturday, the complaint explains. She replied that he was not welcome there, and to please stay away. Soon after, Thomas walked into the woman’s home with an armload of beer cans and handed her one, according to cops.
The woman asked Thomas to leave, but he reportedly refused and became “agitated.” After she slapped him, Thomas hit her in the face and gave her a nosebleed, the complaint states.
After the woman told Thomas again to leave, he pulled down her top, undressed himself, and raped her, according to a press release issued by the State Police.
“During the assault, Thomas grabbed her by the neck making it hard to breath [sic],” the complaint alleges.
The woman’s child was home during the attack, police said. Thomas finally left, but only after the woman promised him she wouldn’t report him to the police, according to investigators. She reported the rape to Pennsylvania State Police on Monday.
In a statement released after Thomas’ arrest, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro said, “The charges this defendant is facing for a violent attack are deeply disturbing. Mr. Thomas is entrusted by the public to uphold the law and serve as a voice for victims. I commend the bravery of the victim that has come forward—that is never an easy thing to do, especially when your abuser is a powerful elected official. Today is a reminder that no one is above the law.”
Thomas is due back in court next Wednesday.