State Re-Files Rape Charge Against Former GOP Chairman - FOX 35 News Orlando

State Re-Files Rape Charge Against Former GOP Chairman

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Robert Kerns, 67, of North Wales (Photo: Pa. Attorney General's Office) Robert Kerns, 67, of North Wales (Photo: Pa. Attorney General's Office)

State prosecutors have re-filed rape and related charges against the former chairman of the Montgomery County Republican Party after the local district attorney's office dropped the case last month.

The Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office charged Robert J. Kerns on Friday, and he was scheduled to appear for a preliminary arraignment at 10:30 a.m. in Dallastown, York County.

Kerns, a 66-year-old lawyer from North Wales, faces counts that include rape of an unconscious victim, sexual assault, aggravated assault, indecent assault and simple assault.

Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Ferman dropped the case against Kerns last month. He'd been accused of with drugging a female paralegal, who worked at his law firm, with Ambien and then raping her in October after a celebratory gathering at a Blue Bell restaurant.

Defense Attorney Brian McMonagle said two toxicologists reviewed the victim's lab work and found no drugs found in the woman's system.

Ferman said the lab work was reviewed again and determined that her team had made a mistake.

The D.A.'s office sent the case to the office of Attorney General Kathleen Kane for review and to see if there was enough legitimate evidence to proceed with the sexual assault case.

A news release from Kane's office makes no mention of the prior drug allegation or the dropped case at the county level.

The release does say that the paralegal accepted Kerns' offer to drive her to the King of Prussia Mall because she had been drinking, but he allegedly engaged in sexual intercourse without her consent or knowledge both there and at her residence.

The criminal complaint says the victim woke the next morning in a panic, as she had pain and marks on her body.

Court records show Kerns was ordered held Friday on bail set at 10 percent of $1 million.

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