Leach steps down from Senate Judiciary Committee amid sexual assault allegations

Jim Melwert
February 04, 2019 - 1:42 pm
Daylin Leach

Jim Melwert/KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Pennsylvania state Sen. Daylin Leach is stepping down as chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Leach said he told Jay Costa, the chairman of the committee, that he is focusing on — in his words — "working to clear my name."

Leach has filed a defamation suit against a woman who recently accused him of sexual assault in 1991, when she was 17. 

Leach was the ranking Democrat on the committee. 

In an emailed statement, he said he was worried about a potential conflict of interest as he expects the committee to address legislation that would be, as he puts it, "relevant to the battle I am fighting."

"I thought it was best that I allow the debates on such issues to play out without the distraction of such an appearance," he said in the statement. "I will move over to chair a different committee where the legislation we consider will be less likely to present the appearance of a conflict."

Leach represents parts of Montgomery and Delaware counties in the state Senate. 

Gov. Tom Wolf is among the many lawmakers who have called for his resignation.