There are new developments in the ongoing sexual assault case against suspended Somerset County District Attorney Jeff Thomas.
Nicole Fuschino has the latest from Thomas’ pretrial hearing.
Suspended Somerset County DA Jeff Thomas made another appearance in court for his pretrial hearing, For allegedly sexually assaulting a woman in September of last year.
The defense filed a motion to exclude wire tap recordings from the trial between Thomas & the alleged victim.
The defense argues the recordings were illegally acquired and violate Thomas’ Fourth Amendment rights.
The judge continued the motion for 45 more days so that both sides can come up with arguments as to whether or not they should be used in court.
“I just respectfully suggest to the court, maybe this is an issue that could be later reviewed by higher courts with respect to this idea of a common law trespass, which is what we’re saying happened, when law enforcement used a
listening device to seize and capture words uttered by the defendant.”
The judge lifted the no contact order from his wife that was part of his bond stipulation allowing them to see each other again.
But they have to get through the Cambria County hurdle for it to actually happen.
“We’re happy that he’s going to be, at least for the purposes of the Somerset County case, allowed to have contact. However, it’s undecided at this time in Cambria County.”
The defense also wanted access to the alleged victims cell phone.
The judge denied that request but the prosecution has 45 days to turn over anything on the phone that pertains to the case.
“The court has been very flexible with us and very lenient with us and the other side in filing motions, and we’d like to keep it that way. That’s reasonable, and we’re happy we have that opportunity, and we have that type of court
that we’re operating in.”
The defense’s motion was also granted for police body camera footage to be used in the trial from the night of Thomas’ car incident where he’s accused of chasing a man down with his truck.
Also determined Thomas will not be held in contempt of court after the AG’s office highlighted statements he made in a newspaper.
Thomas’ trial is scheduled for September.