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John Tilley, former Kentucky justice secretary and lawmaker, charged with rape

A former Kentucky Justice Cabinet secretary and lawmaker was arrested Monday and charged with rape.

Former state Rep. John Tilley, who oversaw Kentucky's state prison system under former Gov. Matt Bevin, is accused of having sex at a Lexington hotel with a woman who could not consent due to her level of intoxication, CBS affiliate WKYT reported, citing the arrest affidavit.

Tilley, 53, was being held at the Lexington-Fayette County jail.

Tilley's attorney, Steve Schroering, told news outlets that his client is innocent and turned himself in.

"John Tilley maintains his innocence of the criminal charges and has cooperated with the investigation," Schroering said. "He respects the judicial process and has no further comment at this time."

Prison Overcrowding
Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet Secretary John Tilley speaks with reporters on Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018, in Frankfort, Ky. Adam Beam / AP

A Lexington Police Department spokesperson told The Courier Journal that Tilley was charged "regarding a Special Victims Investigation that occurred this year."

"At this time, it is still an ongoing investigation," spokesperson Hannah Sloan told the newspaper.

Tilley served as Justice and Public Safety Cabinet secretary from December 2015 through 2019, overseeing Kentucky State Police, the Department of Corrections and other agencies.

In that role, Tilley helped implement a new rape kit law, establishing new policies on handling evidence in sexual assault investigations, the Courier-Journal reported.

Before that, Tilley served five terms as a Democratic state lawmaker from Hopkinsville.

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