Donald Trump has ushered in an era of sexual misconduct. POTUS was accused of paying off two women he had sex with while Melania Trump was recuperating from their son’s, and numerous women have sued him. He was taped telling a TV host he likes to grab women by their genitals. The president’s cabinet contains a former attorney general who gave a monstrous billionaire molester of vast numbers of girls 13-years-old and above virtually no sentence.
It came as no surprise that such immoral behavior has filtered down to the state level. Pennsylvania’s Inquirer newspaper does not give the name of victims of alleged sexual assaults unless they are willing to do so. What we do know is that an unidentified woman who works for the state government has named a state representative in an alleged rape case, and she has filed a formal complaint.
The woman made her complaint to a state GOP caucus attorney and the Republican members of the Ethics Committee. Only they can removed anyone from the House and impose any number of sanctions.
She wrote that she had gone to a bar in Harrisburg along with one of her friends in October 2015. Although she said she only had two drinks and possibly less, she:
‘…was in a state of blackout.’
When she awakened the next morning, the woman found herself in Representative Ellis’ bed. The state employee asked him to explain himself, but the representative just said that the two had sex. According to the complaint, she accused him of rape.
Pennsylvania state victim advocate Jennifer Storm took on the role of spokesperson for the woman who accused Ellis. Storm said this about the lawmakers decision to resign: it indicated “a new day in Harrisburg:”
‘We finally saw a survivor come forward, and she was believed, and treated with dignity and respect by the House — and we are seeing a real-life consequence to that. In cases involving allegations against public officials, unfortunately, the M.O. has just been to kind of ride it out. That didn’t happen here.’
Pennsylvania House Republican leaders had called for Ellis’ resignation at the first of the year as soon as a Dauphin County district attorney had opened an investigation into the alleged rape. The district attorney indicated that late in 2015, Ellis had sex with this woman while she was incapacitated. She had not given her consent either. The district attorney’s investigation is still under way.
Six days after the complaint, Ellis sent his state speaker of the House a brief letter of resignation. It was effective immediately. He wrote that “my own health” was one of the reasons he decided to resign:
‘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 interests of my family, the residents of the 11th House District, and my own health that I resign from the General Assembly.’
A spokesperson for the House Republicans indicated that the representative had been on medical leave the entire year. There was no reason given about Ellis’ medical leave.
Last week Ellis’ law firm Myers, Brief & Kelly LLP released a statement on his behalf. They said the accusations against him were “just plain false” (and an attempt to) “generate sensational press coverage.” The firm has no comment at this time.