A grand jury will not recommend charges against former state Rep. Brian Ellis (R-Butler), who resigned from office in March after being accused of sexual assault. The AP reports that Dauphin County District Attorney Fran Chardo said at a press conference Monday morning that he agreed with the conclusion of the grand jury report that charges shouldn’t be pursued against Ellis, although a prosecutor said he believes a crime occurred.
“The passage of time, diminishing memories, the resulting inability to corroborate the victim, and all the surrounding circumstances of this case make a criminal prosecution of the member impracticable,” the jury wrote, according to the AP.
BUT the grand jury did make suggestions for policy changes — including an independent office to investigate misconduct by Senators and Represnetatives.
— Stephen Caruso (@StephenJ_Caruso) August 26, 2019
Ellis’s lawyer called Chardo’s decision “proper and just,” while the woman’s lawyer said her client believed that Chardo’s report showed that the woman was “credible and that a crime occurred,” according to the AP.
The Philadelphia Inquirer and the Caucus first reported in January about the criminal investigation into the allegations that Ellis had sex with a woman while she was “incapacitated and without her consent.” A few days after the allegation was made public, Gov. Tom Wolf and GOP leadership called on Ellis to resign.
Ellis represented the 11th district from 2005 until March 2019.