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Pa. lawmaker says she told of alleged abuse to help others

The Associated Press

HARRISBURG – A Pennsylvania state lawmaker who got a restraining order against a fellow lawmaker she accuses of threatening to kill her says she has come forward to help others.

FILE - In this Monday, Feb. 5, file photo, state Rep. Nick Miccarelli, R-Delaware, speaks during a news conference in the Capitol Media Center. State Rep. Tarah Toohil alleges that fellow Republican Miccarelli pointed a gun at her in 2012 and on another occasion, when the two were in a car, warned he would crash the vehicle while speeding 100 mph on a highway, The Citizens’ Voice reported. Miccarelli has not been charged with any crime and denies the allegations, however, a county judge has issued a restraining order against him. (Blaine Shahan/LNP via AP, File)

State Rep. Tarah Toohil said in a statement released Saturday by her lawyers that she was in a consensual relationship with fellow Republican Rep. Nick Miccarelli six years ago “but there were terrible moments that were non-consensual.” He hasn’t been charged with any crime and has denied the accusations.

Her protection order request alleges that he pointed a gun at her at one point and has harassed and stalked her since their relationship ended, and she has been “in fear for my safety at work” since filing a complaint against him in the state House. A Luzerne County judged granted the restraining order Friday, barring Miccarelli from contacting Toohil and prohibiting him from possessing firearms.

“As a public official, I believe that I have a duty to step forward to protect other women,” Toohil said, adding that it had taken her years to identify that she was a victim of violence.

FILE - This undated file photo shows Pennsylvania state Rep. Tarah Toohil. Toohil alleges that fellow Republican Rep. Nick Miccarelli pointed a gun at her in 2012 and on another occasion, when the two were in a car, warned he would crash the vehicle while speeding 100 mph on a highway, The Citizens’ Voice reported. Miccarelli has not been charged with any crime and denies the allegations. (Jamie Pesotine/Hazelton Standard-Speaker via AP, File)

“This does not define me. It’s something that happened to me,” she said. “And if I – as a lawyer and a lawmaker – could be this afraid of that individual, then I can only imagine how the other victims feel, which is why I am coming out publicly.”

In a separate allegation against Miccarelli, a political consultant claims that after she ended their relationship in 2014, Miccarelli came to her house and forced her to have sex, holding her neck during part of the alleged attack. Their attorneys said both women came forward after Miccarelli posted comments on Facebook on the national furor over sexual misconduct allegations. Miccarelli has denied those allegations too.

More: Lawmaker gets restraining order against another lawmaker

More: GOP candidate in Pa. special election struggles with campaign basics

Miccarelli, 35, who got married last month, is serving his fifth two-year term representing a district just outside Philadelphia. Spokesman Frank Keel called them outrageous and baseless, part of a smear campaign, and questioned why Toohil would wait “six long years” to take legal action.

The women’s attorneys criticized Miccarelli’s statements as “really just continued abuse of a victim.”

Republican and Democratic lawmakers have both called on him to resign amid the allegations.