Woman withdraws protection order against Somerset County DA; additional order remains

·3 min read

Sep. 28—SOMERSET, Pa. — A Somerset County woman has withdrawn a protection order against Somerset County District Attorney Jeff Thomas.

Just days after filing it, the Stoystown woman — who identified herself as a "current or former intimate partner" in the document — notified Somerset County courts she wanted to withdraw the order.

The request was granted Tuesday by Judge Dan Rullo.

No explanation for the woman's decision was listed on Rullo's one-page order.

The woman sought the temporary protection order late last week after Thomas was released on bond while facing rape, assault and strangulation charges against another woman.

In that application, the woman who withdrew her request said Thomas came to her house on numerous occasions — as recently as July 9 — and used a spare key outside the residence to let himself in.

With the request dropped, Rullo cancelled a hearing Friday that would have been necessary to extend the protection order.

A second protection from abuse order still stands against Thomas, involving a Windber woman who has pressed charges against Thomas.

State Police have charged the 36-year-old first-term district attorney with rape, indecent assault, strangulation, simple assault and criminal trespass — saying he entered the woman's home without her permission on Sept 18 and refused to leave, raping her after she slapped him and said she "didn't want him in the house."

He is accused of striking her in the face, bloodying her nose, and raping her on her couch — at one point strangling her.

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

Thomas, through his Pittsburgh defense attorney, maintains he is innocent of the charges against him and will challenge the accusations in court.

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 that order 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 the woman's 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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