HARRISBURG - Following his no-contest plea to a charge of indecent assault of his law
firm employee, Robert Kerns' law license has been temporarily suspended by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
According to a statement from the Supreme Court, Kerns agreed to the temporary suspension, which takes affect after March 7. The Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court is considering its final decision over whether to disbar Kerns and will make its recommendation to the high court.
The former chairman of the Montgomery County Republican Committee Kerns, 66, of North Wales, faced three counts of indecent assault, two counts of aggravated indecent assault, one count of rape, one count of sexual assault and one count of simple assault, but had the charges reduced after reaching a plea agreement with the Attorney General's Office.
He was originally arrested and charged by Montgomery County prosecutors, but District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman withdrew the charges based on what she believed was a botched investigation. She handed off the case to Attorney General Kathleen Kane, who convinced Kerns to take the plea deal.
According to the original court documents, Kerns offered a female staffer a ride following a celebratory gathering at a Blue Bell restaurant on Oct. 25, 2013, because the woman was apparently too intoxicated to drive.
The victim said she was capable of walking on her own, but didn’t want to get behind the wheel, and therefore decided to accept Kerns’ offer.
Kerns then allegedly drove the woman to the King of Prussia Mall, where he engaged in “sexual intercourse and/or penetration of the victim’s genitals without her consent or knowledge,” reads a news release from the Attorney General’s Office.
After the incident in the vehicle, Kerns then continued to assault the victim at her residence without her consent or knowledge, the prosecutor’s office maintains.
The victim is said to have awoken the next day in a panic, finding dried vomit on her clothing and discovering that she wasn’t wearing any pants or underwear.
The woman also allegedly found bruises, fingermarks and scratches on the inside of her left thigh, as well as scratches and marks on her right thigh, vaginal soreness and pain in her back between her shoulder blades, according to the Attorney General’s office.