Trial for former GOP chairman Kerns scheduled for November

Bob Kerns, left, enters District Court in Blue Bell with his attorney on Friday, Dec. 20, 2013. Kerns’ trial on charges of indecent assault is scheduled for November. (File photo by Geofff Patton/21st Century Media)

NORRISTOWN — 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 Friday.

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 in October 2013.

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Kerns was first arrested by Montgomery County Detectives in November 2013 following a grand jury investigation. He was 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 re-open the case, and in April, it announced it would file charges of sexual assault against Kerns.

The charges of rape of an unconscious person and sexual assault were dismissed by visiting District Judge Joann L. Teyral 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 two charges.

Kerns still faces charges of aggravated indecent assault and indecent assault.