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Ex-Kentucky justice secretary charged with first-degree rape

Former state Rep. John Tilley, who oversaw Kentucky’s state prison system under former Gov. Matt Bevin, was arrested Monday.
Image: John Tilley
John Tilley addresses the Kentucky House at the State Capitol in Frankfort, Ky., on March, 24, 2015. Timothy D. Easley / AP file
/ Source: Associated Press

LEXINGTON, Ky. — 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 of Lexington 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.”

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.

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