A state representative was urged Thursday by House Republican leaders to resign amid allegations he forced a woman to have sex after they broke up and threatened to kill another while driving at a high speed and brandishing a gun.
The chamber's seven highest-ranking GOP leaders released a statement that said the claims should be properly investigated by police but Republican Rep. Nick Miccarelli of Delaware County should step down in the meantime.
"What we have in front of the House right now is about the integrity of the institution, the safety of its staff and members, and the best paths forward for the individuals involved — the accusers and accused, as well as their respective families," the statement read. "With that in mind, it would be in the best interest of all involved if Rep. Miccarelli would resign."
A state official and a campaign consultant filed a complaint about Miccarelli with the House about three weeks ago, making allegations he has vigorously denied. Messages seeking comment from him were not returned Thursday. The story was first reported by The Philadelphia Inquirer and The Caucus newspaper.
In a Facebook post Wednesday evening, Miccarelli denied the allegations entirely, calling them "complete fabrications."
The 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.
The state official said he was controlling and claimed he kicked, pinched and hit her. She was so concerned about her safety she appended a note to her life insurance policy that said Miccarelli should be investigated if something happened to her.
The action by the Republican leaders followed a Wednesday call for Miccarelli to resign by Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf. On Thursday, the chairman of the state Democratic Party also said he should step down.
"The assault and harassment claims alleged against Nick Miccarelli are some of the most horrific and egregious charges asserted against any state public official in recent memory," said the Democratic chairman, Jack Hanna. "He is unfit to serve in Harrisburg."
Miccarelli, 35, is in the middle of a fifth two-year term, representing a district just outside Philadelphia. He said on Facebook he got married last week.
*This post was updated Thursday, March 1 at 6:15 p.m.