WILKES-BARRE — A judge on Thursday extended for three years a restraining order obtained by a state legislator who has accused Rep. Nick Miccarelli (R., Delaware) of physical and mental abuse while the two were dating in 2012 and of stalking her in the state Capitol later.

The permanent protection-from-abuse order was negotiated by lawyers for the legislative colleagues in closed-door talks prior to a public court session. It allows Miccarelli to work in the Capitol, where he and Rep. Tarah Toohil (R., Luzerne) both have offices, but requires him to relinquish his firearms except when he is on duty with the Pennsylvania National Guard.
Miccarelli, 35, an Iraq War veteran, has strongly denied the allegations, and the negotiated order contains no admission of guilt on his part.
His lawyer, Joel Frank, also general counsel of the state GOP, said the Ridley Park lawmaker had surrendered his firearms. Frank is not being paid by the state party to represent Miccarelli and will “transition out” of that role, a GOP spokeswoman said.
The court date was Miccarelli’s highest-profile public appearance since the abuse accusations by Toohil and a private consultant who wishes to remain anonymous were made public late last month by the Inquirer and Daily News and the Caucus. The consultant said she was sexually assaulted by Miccarelli after they stopped dating in 2014.

Toohil obtained a temporary protective order last Friday, saying Miccarelli was a danger to himself and others. "He has threatened to kill me and kill himself before," Toohil wrote in her application.

In court papers filed Thursday before a hearing on whether to make the order permanent, Miccarelli's lawyers moved to block Toohil's testimony. They characterized her accusations as "the vengeful words of a former lover with an agenda." Toohil, they wrote, wanted to punish Miccarelli because she believed he was responsible for circulating an embarrassing 2013 YouTube video featuring old images of her at a table with a bong and what appears to be marijuana.

In any case, the parties agreed on a protection order lasting for the maximum term. Bradford County Senior Judge Jeff Smith announced the agreement.

Neither Toohil nor Miccarelli testified Thursday, instead spending hours with the lawyers who negotiated the agreement.

"I feel vindicated," Miccarelli said after the proceedings. "I look forward to going back to the Capitol. I'm just happy to be going back to work."

"I don't know on what planet that would seem to be a vindication," said Toohil's lawyer, Jarrett Ferentino. "Here's how this works: No one is above the law, not even the men and women who make the law."

Toohil and the second woman leveled the abuse accusations against Miccarelli in a confidential complaint filed early last month with top House lawyers, who launched an investigation. That inquiry was completed this week. The results were not made public, but a spokesman for House Republican leaders said the findings were being referred to Dauphin County prosecutors.
Dauphin County District Attorney Fran Chardo has begun a criminal investigation into the allegations. GOP leaders this month called on Miccarelli to resign; he has said he will not.