Former Kentucky justice secretary pleads not guilty to rape in first court appearance

  • In US
  • 2022-08-09 17:31:06Z
  • By Lexington Herald-Leader

John Tilley, former secretary of Kentucky's Justice and Public Safety Cabinet, pleaded not guilty to a charge of first-degree rape during his first court appearance after he was arrested Monday morning.

Tilley also waived his right to a preliminary hearing while appearing in front of John Tackett, a Fayette District Court judge. Tilley is scheduled to reappear in court before District Judge Melissa Murphy on Aug. 26.

Tilley posted a $25,000 cash bond late Monday evening after he was arrested in downtown Lexington that morning, according to court documents. An arrest citation alleges that Tilley had sex with a victim who could not consent due to their level of intoxication.

The alleged rape occurred on April 15, but Tilley was not detained on the charge until Monday, according to the arrest citation. Tilley turned himself in Monday morning, Lexington police confirmed.

Attorneys Christopher Spedding and Steve Schroering, who are representing Tilley, said in a statement Monday that Tilley maintains he didn't commit a crime.

"Mr. Tilley maintains his innocence of any criminal wrongdoing and has fully cooperated in the investigation. He respects the court process and will have no further comment at this time," Spedding and Schroering said in their statement.

Schroering said again Tuesday that he has no further comment on the case.

Tilley was previously a Democratic state representative, but was appointed to serve as a cabinet member over the state's justice department by former Republican Gov. Matt Bevin. He served in that capacity during the entirety of the Bevin administration.

Herald-Leader reporter Austin Horn contributed to this story.


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