Kerns trial sched­uled for fall

The Colonial - - FRONT PAGE - By Dan Clark

Jury se­lec­tion is sched­uled to be­gin in the as­sault trial against the for­mer head of the Mont­gomery County Repub­li­can Party on Nov. 24, ac­cord­ing to pa­per­work filed with the Mont­gomery County Clerk of Courts Aug. 15.

Robert Kerns, 67, of North Wales, is sched­uled to next ap­pear in court for a pre-trial con­fer­ence on Sept. 23.

Ear­lier this month Philadel­phia Se­nior Judge John L. Brax­ton was or­dered to pre­side over the case against Kerns, who is charged with in­de­cent as­sault in con­nec­tion with an in­ci­dent that took place Oc­to­ber 2013.

Kerns was first ar­rested by Mont­gomery County De­tec­tives in Novem­ber 2013, fol­low­ing a grand jury in­ves­ti­ga­tion, and charged with drug­ging and rap­ing a fe­male em­ployee of his law firm af­ter a work party. Those charges were dropped by the district at­tor­ney’s of­fice in March when de­fense at­tor­ney Brian McMona­gle ar­gued the lab test in­di­cat­ing the al­leged vic­tim was drugged had not been read cor­rectly. The lab test stated the vic­tim had less than five Am­bien in her sys­tem at the time of the al­leged rape. How­ever, less than five on the test does not mean more than zero.

The Penn­syl­va­nia At­tor­ney Gen­eral’s Of­fice an­nounced shortly after­ward it would re­open the case, and in April, it an­nounced it would file charges of sex­ual as­sault against Kerns.

The lead charges, rape of an un­con­scious per­son and sex­ual as­sault, were dis­missed by vis­it­ing District Judge Joann L. Teyral, how­ever, af­ter a pre­lim­i­nary hear­ing in June.

Ac­cord­ing to a pre­vi­ous re­port, McMona­gle and Penn­syl­va­nia Deputy At­tor­ney Gen­eral Daniel Dye stip­u­lated to the tran­script of the al­leged vic­tim’s tes­ti­mony dur­ing the first pre­lim­i­nary hear­ing. Teyral re­viewed the tes­ti­mony and dropped the lead charges. Kerns still faces charges of ag­gra­vated in­de­cent as­sault and in­de­cent as­sault.

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