Facing Rape Allegation, Pennsylvania GOP Lawmaker Resigns
By Kate Feldman
A Pennyslvania Republican lawmaker resigned Monday, months after allegations of a 2015 rape resurfaced.
Rep. Brian Ellis resigned effective immediately just days after a woman filed an official complaint with the state's Republican caucus, accusing him of sexually assaulting her in 2015 while she was incapacitated.
"It is with immense gratitude to the sacrifices made by my family, the support of my constituents, and the friendship of my colleagues that I have concluded that it is in the best interest of my family, the residents of the 11th House district, and my own health that I resign from the General Assembly," Ellis wrote in his resignation letter, acquired by the Philadelphia Inquirer.
The unidentified woman, who works at the state Capitol, claims in a five-page complaint that she had been drinking with a friend in Harrisburg in October 2015 the night that she was allegedly raped.
"I remember starting to drink what [her friend] had handed me before she left, but I do not remember finishing the drink," the complaint, acquired by PennLive, reads. "After casually drinking that cider at Carley's, I have scant memories of the next 10 hours and was in a state of black out. I woke up in pain, injured and naked the next morning in the bed of Representative Brian Ellis."
The woman claims that Ellis admitted they "had sex," then tried to have sex with her again, but she refused and was kicked out of his house.
She went to the hospital a few days later, according to the complaint, complaining of injuries to her ankles, back and head.
She was later diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety.
In late January, House Republican leaders called for Ellis to resign after PennLive reported that he was under investigation by the Dauphin County District Attorney's office.
"The House Republican Caucus has zero tolerance for any instance of sexual violence or harassment," the leaders said in a joint statement. "Our caucus will fully cooperate with any law enforcement investigation, or request, and would take any allegation against one of our members with the utmost seriousness."
The woman's attorney told the Daily News that her client "feels vindicated."
"We see it as an acknowledgement of the credibility of her allegations," Christine Wechsler told The News. "It's an admission of the truthfulness of her complaint."
The District Attorney's investigation will continue, but the House's investigation will stop now that Ellis has resigned.
(c)2019 New York Daily News