The big local story this week in Northern Kentucky is the precipitous fall of former Campbell County district Judge Tim Nolan, a major player in the state's GOP and Trump's county campaign chair. Nolan has been involved in the Kentucky Republican party since before I was born, so it was a huge shock around here to see a grand jury charge him last week with multiple counts of rape, human trafficking of a minor, human trafficking of five adults, witness tampering and prostitution. Nolan was in court yesterday on arraignment, and things got weird.
Tim Nolan pleaded not guilty to an 11-count indictment that included rape, witness tampering, human trafficking of a minor, human trafficking of five adults, unlawful transaction of a minor and prostitution.
But then his attorney Margo Grubbs made impassioned arguments and accusations that prompted Kenton County Circuit Court Judge Kathleen Lape to remark that this was a bond hearing and “not a comment on the justice system.”
Among the things revealed:
Grubbs argued the bail was too high, accused police of not interviewing all the witnesses and said someone, they believe mother of one of the victims, has tried to contact Nolan to see if he’s all right. She also revealed she believes that the accusations against Nolan are connected to a lawsuit.
- Grubbs said they believe one of the grandmothers of the victim is a tenant on Nolan’s sprawling farm in southern Campbell County and pays rent to him.
- There are nine alleged victims covered in the indictment, according to prosecutor and Assistant Attorney General Barbara Whaley.
She confirmed to the press after the hearing the lawsuit she referred to was the defamation suit Nolan filed against some Republicans behind GOPFacts.org.
It's another bizarre wrinkle in what has become a convoluted case that has shocked Northern Kentucky.
Nolan, dressed in a gray suit, sat calmly in court as his attorney unfurled arguments why she thinks authorities violated his rights. The Campbell County police went into his rural farmland “with guns ablazing” when they searched his property in February, Grubbs said in court.
Nolan could face more than 100 years in prison if convicted on all counts. He’s maintained his innocence. After the hearing, he tried to talk to the press as his attorney desperately tried to pull him toward the courtroom elevators.
“This is my attorney and my attorney tells me I cannot make any statements,” Nolan said. “I’d love to other than I can tell you we have a great Constitution and I have a great attorney and we will vigorously defend this.”
This is about as close to "Boss Hogg from the Dukes of Hazzard ending up in court on sexual assault crimes" as it gets, folks, and I guarantee you that this case is going to get far uglier as it goes on. I'll keep an eye on it as things go but this is going to be huge around here.