Capitol police investigating sexual assault allegations against a Delaware County state representative

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HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Some are calling for a Delaware County state representative to step down after several sexual assault allegations made against him appeared in print.

This led a group of Democratic legislators to gather Thursday morning to call for action against sexual harassment at the capitol, while Republican leaders opened an investigation.

There is a concern at the State Capitol for female legislators, staff and interns that’s making headlines.

Rep. Leanne Krueger-Braneky (D-Delaware) said "everyone who is vulnerable, deserves better than to find out in the newspaper, that a prominent elected official had a concerning history of alleged sexual assault or harassment allegations."

The Philadelphia Inquirer, Daily News, and The Caucus newspapers reported that Republican state representative Nick Miccarelli of Delaware County allegedly sexually harassed two women who dated him at different times, one a state official, the other a political consultant.

The papers reported Miccarelli allegedly threatened one woman by showing off a gun while saying he would kill them both.

The papers also reported the other woman alleged Miccarelli forced her to have sex after their relationship ended.

State representative Patty Kim (D-Dauphin County) said "the survivor allegedly went through fear, pain, guilt, and self-doubt in response."

"Both survivors in this case said they remained silent for years, because they feared speaking up would threaten their careers, and possibly even their lives," Krueger-Braneky said.

Inside the Pennsylvania State Capitol is a place where laws are made, yet some say there are no laws to protect the women who walk its halls from sexual predators.

"That is why I have introduced House Bill 1965, the MeToo Act, which would create an independent office of compliance and require that an independent investigator follow up any complaint, made by a staffer in the State Capitol," Krueger-Braneky said.

Meanwhile, House Republican leaders have launched an investigation against one of their own.

House Republican leaders released the following joint statement.

“The safety of the public, employees and our members is of paramount concern. These allegations are alarming, and if true, cannot and will not be tolerated in our Caucus, in the House, or anywhere. We are in the midst of investigating claims which were brought to us and have been working with Capitol Police to address concerns raised during our investigation. While we hope to conclude the investigation this week, as of today, law enforcement is involved.”

"We need due process for the accused, but it’s also time to end the culture of fear, take the politics out of the process, and stand with the victims," Krueger-Braneky said.

As female House Democrats speak out against the allegations, they’re not alone in their fight for safety at the capitol.

State rep. Mike schlossberg (D-Lehigh County) said "the reason that people, the men like Representative Briggs, Kinsey, and Schweyer, and I are here, is because we support these changes."

There is one other change Krueger-Braneky would like to make.

"If these allegations are true, I am calling on Nick Miccarelli to resign from the Pennsylvania State House effective immediately," Krueger-Braneky said.

FOX 43 News called Miccarelli’s offices in both Harrisburg and Delaware County, but was told that neither Representative Miccarelli nor his chief of staff were in the office for comment.


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