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Authorities arrest former Kentucky state cabinet member on rape charge

Aug. 9 (UPI) -- Former Kentucky Justice Cabinet Secretary John Tilley has turned himself into authorities after an arrest citation was issued for him in connection with a rape accusation.

Tilley served as state public safety cabinet secretary and justice from 2015 to 2019. The citation against Tilley says he assaulted a woman in a downtown Lexington hotel room on April 15 when she was intoxicated and unable to consent.

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Tilley's attorneys said the former state lawmaker is working with authorities and is not guilty of the charges.

"Mr. Tilley maintains his innocence of any criminal wrongdoing and has fully cooperated in the investigation," attorneys Christopher Spedding and Steve Schroering said, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader. "He respects the court process and will have no further comment at this time."

Tilley served five terms as a Democratic state lawmaker from Hopkinsville, Ky., and became a justice and cabinet secretary under former Gov. Matt Bevin.

During his time on the state's public safety cabinet, Tilley spoke out against the backlog of untested rape kits that often delayed rape investigations and trials.

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"The survivors of sexual assault should never have to endure the uncertainty of another backlog," Tilley said about the backlog in 2017 according to WDRB-TV.

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