The electronically monitored house arrest of Somerset County District Attorney Jeff Thomas was changed by a labor release court order to include his father’s garage in Windber.
Cambria County Senior Judge Timothy Creany ordered Thomas ‘to complete his work release at his father’s place of business, however avoiding exclusion zones (witnesses and possible victims) and hours relevant as determined by the County of Somerset Probation Office”. Creany is scheduled to preside over Thomas’ sexual assault case, which is scheduled for trial September 14-20, not including the weekend.
Thomas, 36, grew up working with his father in his car garage, he said in a previous interview.
After graduating from law school and passing the state bar, Thomas worked in his own law firm until he was elected to the position of Somerset County Attorney in 2019. He is the father of three children and his wife is also a lawyer. His lawyer’s license has been suspended since criminal allegations were made.
Why:State Supreme Court suspends law license of Somerset County Attorney Jeffrey Thomas
How does electronic monitoring work?
Every time Thomas leaves his parents’ house — and now his dad’s garage — he has to get preapproval for probation. Probation examines what his movements will be and where they will occur and establishes a route which he must not deviate from when he is outside the places authorized by the court.
To visit his lawyer in Pittsburgh, for example, Thomas must go through the same actions. Changing his route from any approved location while participating in the electronic monitoring program would violate probation and put him behind bars until his trial.
Electronic Monitor GPS tracking allows probation to create specific inclusion and exclusion zones, mapping and tracking. The defendant must pay an installation fee and then a daily usage fee for the device, according to probation officials.
Results:Woman goes to jail for breaking probation rules
Why electronic monitoring for Thomas?
The initial bail and its terms were set when Thomas was arraigned on sexual assault charges for an incident in September.
Thomas is accused of entering the home of an adult acquaintance on the evening of September 18 without permission and of remaining in the residence even after being ordered to leave. Police said he then began to sexually and physically assault the woman.
Four days later, charges of sexual assault, aggravated indecent assault, indecent assault, strangulation, common assault and criminal trespass were brought against Thomas.
He was free after posting his $5,000 bail in that case until his bond was revoked. The bond stipulated that he was to have no contact with the woman or anyone listed as witnesses by either side in the case.
Most recently, on March 31, Thomas was charged with chasing a vehicle driven by a man who will more than likely be a prosecution witness in his sexual assault case. Windber police charged him with summary harassment and traffic tickets. He has pleaded not guilty and a summary trial is scheduled for June 22 before District Judge William Seger of Windber.
Creany said that incident prompted him to revoke Thomas’ bail after a revocation hearing on April 29.
Creany decided that Thomas would stay at his parents’ house in Windber until his trial for sexual assault. He placed Thomas on an electronic ankle monitoring device at all times. Somerset County Adult Probation Service installed the equipment and is monitoring the system.
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Additionally, Thomas is to have no communication with his wife — who is among those police say they victimized — unless it’s for something like marriage counseling. Even this contact must first be approved by probation.
Thomas is awaiting trial in a domestic dispute case involving his wife which occurred on May 15, 2021 in Cambria County. Both he and his wife maintained that the alleged abuse did not take place.
Follow Judy DJ Ellich on Twitter at @dajudye
This article originally appeared on The Daily American: DA Jeffrey Thomas receives furlough from work