WHITPAIN — Former Montgomery County Republican Chairman Robert Kerns was arraigned in district court Friday morning on rape and related offenses after the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office filed charges against him in a case that was dropped on the county level last month due to the misreading of a toxicology report.
Kerns, 66, of North Wales, turned himself in at District Judge Robert Sobeck’s Whitpain court at approximately 11 a.m. Friday, and was arraigned by District Judge Joann L. Teyral — a retired York County judge — after Sobeck recused himself from the proceedings.
Kerns, who stands accused of raping and sexually assaulting a female paralegal who worked at his law firm, has been charged by state prosecutors with eight criminal counts: One count of felony rape of an unconscious victim, one count of felony sexual assault, two counts of felony aggravated indecent assault, three counts of misdemeanor indecent assault and one count of misdemeanor simple assault.
Bail was set at 10 percent of $1 million, which Kerns posted.
Neither Kerns nor his attorney, an associate of lawyer Brian McMonagle who represented Kerns in the case that was ultimately dismissed by county prosecutors but who was unable to make Friday’s arraignment due to other commitments, court personnel said, commented on the newly filed charges as they left the courtroom.
Kerns is due back in Whitpain district court on May 13 for a preliminary hearing that will also be presided over by Teyral.