State Rep. Brian Ellis (R-Butler) resigned from office yesterday afternoon in the midst of a sexual assault investigation.
Ellis penned a letter to House GOP leadership stating it was in the best interest of his family, residents of the district and his health that he resign from office.
“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 my 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.
In January, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported that Ellis was under criminal investigation into allegations that he had sex with a woman while she was “incapacitated and without her consent, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the inquiry.” The alleged assault had taken place in late 2015 in his Harrisburg residence and the Dauphin County District Attorney’s office is conducting a criminal investigation.
A few days after the allegation was made public, Gov. Tom Wolf and GOP leadership called on Ellis to resign.
Jennifer Storm, victim advocate of Pennsylvania, described the resignation as a “new day in Harrisburg.”
“This is a new day in Harrisburg, one where we hope all survivors feel they can come forward, be believed and be treated with dignity and respect,” Storm said in a statement. “We appreciate how respectful the staff and members of the House have been during this most difficult time for the survivor. We are also grateful for the calls for resignation that came from leaders across the Commonwealth, from the Governor to House GOP leadership. It is clear that the days of sexual misconduct and coverups in our Capitol are slowly coming to an end.”
Ellis represented the 11th district from 2005 until yesterday.
This story was updated with a comment from Jennifer Storm.