SOMERSET, Pa. (KDKA) – The District Attorney in Somerset County is being accused of sexual assault and Jeffrey Thomas’s lawyer spoke exclusively with KDKA and he says there should not be a rush to judgment.
“Jeffrey is an innocent person, and I just remind everybody of that,” Ryan Tutera, the lawyer representing Thomas said. “I’m sure he is surprised. I’m sure he is shocked. I’m surprised. I’m shocked but we look forward to having our day in court and fighting these charges.”
Thomas began serving as Somerset’s district attorney last year.
Now, he is facing charges of rape and other assault charges.
However, Thomas and his lawyer say these are allegations and deny there’s any truth behind them.
“Right now, all we are dealing with is a mere allegation from an accuser maybe having a motive of some sort to make these accusations,” Tutera said. “We don’t know.”
According to the criminal complaint, the victim knew Thomas through her employer, and for years he made advances toward her and she declined.
Then, on September 18, Thomas sent her a message through Snapchat saying he was coming over and she said no.
He came over anyway and entered her home uninvited.
The victim then asked Thomas to leave and then the two got into a fight.
According to police, that’s when he got the upper hand and raped her.
All of this happened while the victim’s daughter was inside the home.
“We will get to the bottom of this,” Tutera said. “To the public – treat him in a fair way, in a fair manner. He still is the district attorney, at this point, of Somerset County.”
The director of the Pennsylvania District Attorney’s Association issued the following statement:
“No one is above the law. The allegations outlined today in Somerset County deeply disturb us. Everyone involved in the criminal justice system has a legal and ethical obligation to follow the law and to conduct themselves with the utmost integrity – no one more so than the District Attorney. Any individual’s failure to either act lawfully or in accordance with their ethical obligations is wholly unacceptable.”
“Jeffrey has worked tirelessly for victims, he’s fought for victim’s rights,” Tutera said. “So, I think before anyone jumps to any conclusions, it’s too early to say he’s guilty of anything.”
Tutera says that he expects his client to be out of jail sometime on Thursday.
The Somerset County Board of Commissioners released this statement:
“The Somerset County Board of Commissioners is aware of the recent arrest of District Attorney Jeffrey Charges and the serious charges pending against him. As this is a criminal matter to be processed through the Courts, the Commissioners have no substantive comment to offer at this time.”