State Charges MontCo Lawyer With Rape, Assault

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Robert Kerns, Montgomery County GOP

    A former Montgomery County lawyer and Ex-GOP chairman is facing rape charges again, this time filed by the state.

    Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane announced the charges against 66-year-old Robert Kerns on Friday. He's accused of raping and sexually assaulting a woman who worked as a paralegal at his law firm Kerns, Pearlsine, Onorato and Hladik, LLP.

    According to the criminal complaint, the alleged assault took place in October of 2013. Investigators say that Kerns offered to drive the woman to the King of Prussia Mall because she'd been drinking at a party thrown by Kerns at a Blue Bell restaurant. The woman accepted the ride, said officials.

    State investigators allege that Kerns drove the woman to the mall, where he engaged in sexual activity without her consent or knowledge. They say he then drove the woman to her house where the alleged rape continued.

    The criminal complaint states that the woman said she woke the next morning, at her home, in a panic. She says she had dried vomit on her clothes, bruises, fingermarks and scratches on her body, including her thighs and couldn't recollect all of the previous night's events. She went to Abington Hospital where the examiner documented injuries to the woman's breasts and vaginal area, the criminal complaint said.

    Kerns was arrested on Friday and charged with three counts of indecent assault, two counts of aggravated indecent assault, one count of rape, one count of sexual assault and one count of simple assault.

    The arrest comes a little more than a month after rape and assault charges against the former-GOP chairman, involving the same woman, were dropped by Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman's office. Vetri Ferman said in March that the charges were dropped because an investigator from her office had misinterpreted results of drug tests.

    The case was then referred to the Attorney General's Office which conducted its own investigation.

    Their findings, along with the evidence from the DA's investigation, prompted the arrest.

    NBC10 reached out to Kerns' lawyer Brian McMonagle who wasn't available to give a statement.