New rape charges against former Montco GOP chief Kerns

Posted: April 27, 2014

NO BOOZE, no entering any place that serves booze and submit to random alcohol testing: These are among the terms of Robert J. Kerns' bail conditions, after the attorney general filed new rape charges against him yesterday morning.

Kerns, the former Montgomery County GOP boss, is out after posting 10 percent of $1 million bail.

He was initially arrested in October following allegations that he drugged and raped a paralegal from his law firm.

But last month, Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman dropped the charges and punted the Kerns rape case to the state Attorney General's Office. Her decision came after detectives from her office reportedly misread toxicology tests indicating the alleged victim had a sleep-inducing drug in her system.

Now, after reviewing the findings, the attorney general is bringing new charges against Kerns.

"These are very serious allegations now reflected by equally serious criminal charges," Deputy Attorney General Daniel J. Dye said.

In accordance with the Montgomery County Adult Probation Department, should Kerns violate any of his bail conditions, which also include surrendering his passport, GPS monitoring and having no contact with the alleged victim, he would be hauled back to the clink.

Kerns, 66, turned himself in about 11 a.m. yesterday. He is charged with rape of an unconscious or unaware victim, sexual assault, aggravated indecent assault, indecent assault of an unconscious or unaware victim and simple assault.

"The victim stated she found dried vomit on her pants, inside the back of her pants, blood spots in her panties, dried vomit on her bra and inside her camisole," the criminal complaint reads.

"She had bruises and finger marks on the inside of her left thigh, scratch marks on her left thigh, scratches and marks on her right thigh, vaginal soreness and her spine between her shoulder blades hurt. The victim remembered her head being pressed against a car window and pushing Kerns away while moaning in pain."

Kerns' lawyer, Brian McMonagle, did not return calls seeking comment yesterday, but sources said he did not accompany Kerns to court yesterday. Kerns was accompanied by another lawyer.

According to court documents, the pair had been cocktailing together at a Republican fundraiser the night of Oct. 25. When the alleged victim reportedly confessed to Kerns that she may have had too much to drink to drive, Kerns offered her a ride. But the events leading up to the woman allegedly finding herself half-naked, injured and covered in vomit the next morning are unclear. Test results showed Kerns' DNA was found on the victim's undergarments.

The attorney general claimed that when investigators listened in on a recorded phone call between Kerns and an informant, whereupon Kerns was told the woman had injuries consistent with rape, he allegedly said, "stupid decisions lead to stupid results."


On Twitter: @RuffTuffDH

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