Former Montgomery County Republican party leader Robert J. Kerns spent the night at the Montgomery County Correctional Facility after being arrested Tuesday on charges that he drugged and raped a woman who worked at his law firm.

The 66-year-old Kerns, a North Wales resident, was released Wednesday after posting $100,000 cash - 10 percent of the $1 million bail, defense lawyer Brian McMonagle said.

Authorities say that on Oct. 25, Kerns offered to drive the 51-year-old employee from an office party in a Whitpain Township restaurant to the King of Prussia Mall, where she wanted to go shopping.

Instead, he allegedly slipped the sleep drug Ambien into a bottle of wine that he invited her to drink in his car. When the woman lost consciousness, Kerns raped her in the car and sexually assaulted her a second time at her home, according to a grand jury report.

At his arraignment before District Judge Robert M. Sobeck, Kerns pleaded not guilty to the charges, which include counts of charges of raping an unconscious victim, raping a substantially impaired person, and tampering with or fabricating evidence.

"We're now going to start conducting our investigation and see where it takes us," McMonagle said Wednesday.

A preliminary hearing has been set for Dec. 6.

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