Two women file for protection orders against Somerset County DA

·3 min read

Sep. 27—SOMERSET, Pa. — Somerset County's district attorney now faces protection-from-abuse orders involving two different women — one of whom he is accused of raping.

Court records show both documents were filed in court in a 24-hour span, with the latest involving a Stoystown-area woman who's accusing District Attorney Jeffrey Thomas of using a spare key he located outside of her now-prior home to let himself in on July 9.

"On numerous occasions, Mr. Thomas has come to my home uninvited while intoxicated," she wrote.

The woman, who identified herself as a former "sexual or intimate partner" of Thomas, is also asking a Somerset County judge to order him to stay away from her sister, her mother and her ex-husband.

Somerset County Judge Daniel Rullo has granted a temporary order, directing the Somerset County prosecutor to avoid contacting the woman and her family, either in person or through other people.

Rullo has set a hearing Friday at Somerset County Courthouse to determine if the order should be extended. That same morning, he'll also decide whether to extend a separate PFA order sought by the Windber woman who police say was raped by Thomas on Sept. 18.

That woman indicated she applied for the order after Thomas was released from Cambria County Prison on Thursday.

Thomas, 36, of Cambria Avenue, Windber, also is charged with indecent assault, strangulation, simple assault and criminal trespass.

Police alleged in a criminal complaint that he entered the Windber woman's home without permission on Sept. 18 and refused to leave. He is accused of striking her in the face and raping her on her couch — at one point strangling her — after she slapped him and told him she "didn't want him in the house."

Thomas agreed to leave after the woman told him she wouldn't call the police, State Police Cpl. Matthew Auker wrote.

The woman and Thomas knew one another professionally for several years, according to police, and did not have a prior intimate relationship.

The Windber woman also requested a protection order against Thomas' wife, Amy Thomas — but a Somerset County judge who initially granted it last week has since vacated the "intimidation" order and cancelled an upcoming hearing on the matter.

The petition accused Amy Thomas, 36, also of Cambria Avenue, of taking photos of her vehicle Sept. 20 outside a Richland Township restaurant and of harassing her in the past.

According to Pennsylvania's Title 42 law on judicial procedure, narrow guidelines exist on individuals who can obtain protection from intimidation orders, including minor children.

"After further research, we find that the temporary protection from intimidation order entered on Sept. 23, 2021, was improvidently granted," Rullo wrote. In legal terms, that means the order was rendered without "adequate consideration" by the court and should not have been approved.

One hearing involving Amy Thomas remains scheduled. She is awaiting an Oct. 13 hearing on simple assault charges dating from a week prior to Thomas' arrest, accused of scratching his arm and jumping on the hood of his car to prevent him from leaving their home.

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