Former Kentucky justice secretary posts bond, will appear in court for rape charge

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John Tilley, former secretary of Kentucky’s Justice and Public Safety Cabinet, will appear in court on Tuesday morning for an arraignment after he was charged with first-degree rape.

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 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.

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.

As a lawmaker, the attorney represented the Western Kentucky city of Hopkinsville and served chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. The arrest citation lists him as a current resident of Oldham County, just outside of Louisville.

In his capacity as secretary, Tilley sounded the alarm on inmate overcrowding in prisons and jails.

“The answer is not to build more prison space, the answer is to lower our prison population,” Tilley said

This developing story will be updated with more information.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to clarify Tilley turned himself in Monday morning.