Republican State Representative Resigns After Being Accused of Sexual Assault

Brian Ellis. Photo: Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Brian Ellis, a Republican Pennsylvania state representative, has resigned from his House seat following allegations of sexual assault. According to KDKA-TV, Ellis sent a letter notifying House Speaker Mike Turzai of his immediate resignation on Monday.

“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,” he wrote.

KDKA-TV reports that the resignation comes two months after Pennsylvania state House Republicans stripped Ellis of his Consumer Affairs Committee chairmanship over allegations he had sex with a woman against her will while she was blacked out.

According to the Associated Press, the woman, whose work involves the General Assembly, filed a complaint against Ellis to the House last week. She said that in October 2015, she had been out at a piano bar with a friend and then at a fundraising event for a politician before blacking out.

“I woke up in pain, injured and naked the next morning in the bed of Representative Ellis,” the woman said.

Ellis allegedly told her they had sex, to which she responded she would never have done that, according to the complaint.

“He smugly replied, ‘I always knew we would,’” she wrote in the memo.

She said she has no memory of having sex with Ellis. Her lawyer, Christine Wechsler, says her client believes she was drugged while having a drink and was sexually assaulted at Ellis’s home near the Capitol in Harrisburg.

According to Penn Live, Ellis’s lawyers issued a statement calling the allegations “just plain false.”

Last week, The Butler Eagle reported that Ellis’s wife of 20 years had recently filed for divorce.

According to AP, House Republicans have said prosecutors are looking into the allegations, but Dauphin County District Attorney Fran Chardo declined to confirm an investigation.

Republican Lawmaker Resigns Amid Sexual-Assault Allegations