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Rape charges dropped against former GOP chair Kerns

The case against former Montgomery County Republican Chairman Robert J. Kerns narrowed dramatically Wednesday as a judge dismissed rape and sexual-assault charges against him but let stand other counts stemming from his alleged attack last fall on a female employee of his law firm.

District Judge Joann L. Teyral threw out the charges after meeting with lawyers during a preliminary hearing in Blue Bell. She ordered Kerns, 66, to trial on counts including aggravated indecent assault, a second-degree felony with a maximum prison term of 10 years.

The judge “came to the inescapable conclusion that there was no rape, no evidence of sexual assault,” Kerns’ attorney, Brian J. McMonagle, said as Kerns stood next to him. “We’re very satisfied, we’re relieved. But it’s just the first step.”