Rape charges against ex-GOP chair Robert Kerns are dropped

The Montgomery County District Attorney’s office on Monday abruptly dropped all charges against former county Republican Party Chairman Robert Kerns, whom it had accused of drugging and sexually assaulting an employee at his law firm.

Prosecutors said that the results of a drug test on which the case was built had been misinterpreted, and that Kerns’ accuser had not been drugged with the sleep aid Ambien.

District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman is expected to say more later Monday.

The disclosure marked a stunning twist in the case, one that led Kerns to leave his law practice and resign from his prominent party position.

Kerns was charged on Nov. 26 with drugging the former employee of his Lansdale law firm, and raping her while she was unconscious.

He faced 19 counts, including rape, sexual assault, tampering with evidence, and lying to authorities. A 23-page grand jury described in detail what allegedly occurred between Kerns and the woman after an October law firm party at the Radice restaurant in Blue Bell.

Kerns, through his lawyer, Brian J. McMonagle, had denied the charges. Kerns was free on $1 million bail.

The 66-year-old North Wales resident led the Montgomery County Republican party for about five years, from 2008 until he resigned in November as rumors spread that authorities were investigating him.