Woman drops request for protection order against state Senate president Ellsworth
HELENA (KPAX) — Montana Senate President Sen. Jason Ellsworth, R-Hamilton, said in a statement Tuesday that a woman he was previously in a relationship with has agreed to drop her petition for an order of protection against him.
It comes a day after the Montana Free Press first reported the woman’s court filing, which accused Ellsworth of abuse.
The woman, who lives in Lewis and Clark County, accused Ellsworth of physically assaulting her and threatening her during their six-year relationship. She alleged the last incident occurred in October 2022. Ellsworth denied the claims.
Court records say the woman filed for a protection order on May 2, and a Lewis and Clark County justice of the peace granted a temporary order that day.
On Tuesday, according to a stipulated agreement shared with MTN by Ellsworth’s attorney, the woman agreed to withdraw her petition and ask the court to vacate the protection order.
Ellsworth sent a statement through his attorney.
“My ex-fiance unwisely and without representation filed claims against me that are not true,” he said. “She prepared her petition in May on her own when she was angry that I still wanted her to return my property after I ended our relationship in March. She has voluntarily dismissed her claims and has conceded that she does not require any orders for her protection, which is correct. I have not been abusive and do not wish her or her daughter any harm. We were there for each other for six years. Sadly that came to an end earlier this year. We are both moving on respectfully."
Ellsworth’s attorney, Joan Mell, said there was no compensation connected with the agreement.
Ellsworth was elected to a second four-year term in the Senate last November, and he was selected as Senate president for the 2023 session several weeks later.
In 2021, Ellsworth pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of obstructing a law enforcement officer, in connection with a traffic stop in Broadwater County, where he argued that he was exempt from being detained because of his status as a legislator. As part of the sentencing agreement, that charge was dropped from his record after a year.