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Former Kentucky state Rep. John Tilley arrested on rape charge

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Fayette County Detention Center
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Former state Rep. John Tilley, who also served as Kentucky’s Justice Secretary, has been arrested and charged with rape.

Tilley was taken into custody Monday morning in downtown Lexington.

According to online jail records, the 53-year-old Tilley was booked into the Fayette County Detention Center on a charge of first-degree rape.

An arrest citation obtained by the Herald-Leader alleges that Tilley had sex with a victim who couldn’t consent due to their level of intoxication. The alleged rape occurred on Apr. 15 at Marriott City Center, a hotel in downtown Lexington.

Tilley is being represented by Louisville attorneys Steve Schroering and Chris Spedding.

"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."

Schroering told WKU Public Radio that Tilley turned himself in to authorities. So far, his bond has not been set. Tilley is scheduled for arraignment in Fayette District Court on Tuesday at 1:00 p.m.

Tilley oversaw the state’s prison system as Justice Secretary under former Republican Gov. Matt Bevin from 2015-2019. Before that, he was a Democratic state lawmaker from Hopkinsville for nearly a decade.

This story has been updated.

Lisa is a Scottsville native and WKU alum. She has worked in radio as a news reporter and anchor for 18 years. Prior to joining WKU Public Radio, she most recently worked at WHAS in Louisville and WLAC in Nashville. She has received numerous awards from the Associated Press, including Best Reporter in Kentucky. Many of her stories have been heard on NPR.
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