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Kentucky’s former Justice Secretary John Tilley charged raping victim too drunk to give consent 

Kentucky’s former Justice Secretary who worked to clear backlog of rape kits during his time in office is charged with raping woman who was too drunk to give consent in a Lexington hotel

  • Former state Rep. John Tilley, a former Kentucky state Democratic rep. and official has been arrested and charged with first-degree rape
  • Tilley, 53, was booked Monday morning into Lexington-Fayette Urban County jail
  • He was arrested Monday morning on one count of first-degree rape
  • Tilley is accused of having sex at a Lexington hotel with a woman who was unable to give consent, because she were too drunk to do so

Former state Rep. John Tilley, a former Kentucky state Democratic rep. and official  has been arrested and charged with first-degree rape

Kentucky‘s former secretary for Justice and Public Safety was arrested in Lexington and charged with first degree rape on Monday. 

Former state Rep. John Tilley, who oversaw Kentucky’s state prison system under former Governor Matt Bevin, is accused of having sex at a Lexington hotel with a woman who was unable to give consent, because she was too drunk to be able do so.

The alleged rape is said to have occurred on April 15 but no charges were filed until Monday.   

Lexington police revealed how Tilley turned himself in and is now being held at the Lexington-Fayette County jail.

‘Mr. Tilley maintains his innocence of any criminal wrongdoing and has fully cooperated in the investigation,’ said his attorneys Christopher Spedding and Steve Schroering said in a statement.

‘He respects the court process and will have no further comment at this time,’ they added. 

Tilley had been a Democratic state representative and appointed to serve as a cabinet member over the state’s justice department by former Republican Gov. Matt Bevin. 

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

During his time at the public safety cabinet, Tilley worked to decrease the backlog of untested rape kits.

Tilley, 53, was booked Monday morning into Lexington-Fayette Urban County jail

Tilley, 53, was booked Monday morning into Lexington-Fayette Urban County jail

‘The survivors of sexual assault should never have to endure the uncertainty of another backlog,’ he said in a 2017 press release.

In a 2019 Kentucky State Police press release on the agency’s use of new rapid DNA tests for rape kits, Tilley stated: ‘In Kentucky, we believe in justice. Regardless of where you live, or work or play in the state, you should expect to be safe from crimes of sexual assault.’ 

Before that, Tilley, who is an attorney represented, served five terms as a Democratic state lawmaker from Hopkinsville in Western Kentucky. He also served as chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. 

While he was secretary he pushed to reduce overcrowding in the state’s prisons and jails. 

‘The answer is not to build more prison space, the answer is to lower our prison population,’ Tilley said at the time. 

Shelly and John Tilley

Shelly and John Tilley

John Tilley is accused of having sex at a Lexington hotel with a woman who was unable to give consent, because she was too drunk to be able do so. He is pictured with his wife Shelly in these selfies

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