By Brad Segall

NORRISTOWN, Pa. (CBS) — The former head of the Republican Party in Montgomery County has been ordered held for trial, accused of indecently assaulting a former co-worker after a night drinking last October.

But more serious charges have been tossed out.

The district judge ruled that the testimony from the first preliminary hearing was enough to hold Robert Kerns for trial, but she dropped the rape and sexual assault charges against the 66-year-old attorney.

He now faces aggravated indecent assault and simple assault charges.

Defense attorney Brian McMonagle was pleased with the ruling, vows to fight the remaining charges, and says his client is an innocent man.

“There was never a crime committed here,” he tells KYW Newsradio.  “There’s no question that the parties were together that night.  There’s no question these are two people who had their worlds collide one evening.”

He says the judge correctly ruled there was no evidence that any rape or sexual assault occurred.

Prosecutors say they are prepared to go to trial.  The Montgomery County DA’s office previously dropped all charges against Kerns after admitting it misread a report indicating there were drugs in the victim’s system (see related story).  The attorney general now has the case.


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