Rape, witness tampering added to charges against ex-judge

A former Northern Kentucky judge accused of human trafficking now faces criminal counts of rape and witness tampering.

A Campbell County grand jury indicted former judge Tim Nolan on Thursday on 11 charges, including first-degree rape, witness tampering, prostitution, human trafficking and providing a minor with drugs and alcohol.

Police filed the human trafficking and alcohol charges last month when they arrested Nolan, 70, and the indictment takes those charges one step further.

Nolan faces a maximum sentence of more than 100 years if convicted — including 20 years on the rape charge alone. Also Thursday, Nolan resigned his post on the Campbell County School Board, according to a statement from his attorney, Margo Grubbs.

In her statement, Grubbs said the charges were “baseless“ and that Nolan “intends to mount a vigorous defense to the allegations and claims made against him.”

Grubbs didn’t return messages seeking further comment.

The indictment was announced by Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear, whose office declined to comment further.

Beshear’s special prosecution division is handling the case, and all the filings are being funneled through the Boone County Circuit Clerk’s office. That’s because Campbell County Circuit Clerk Taunya Nolan Jack is Tim Nolan’s daughter.

The indictment doesn’t reveal many details about the case, other than alleging that Nolan tried to induce a possible witness identified only as “M.R.” to either not testify or to change his or her testimony. In addition, the rape charge is new, although no specifics other than the initials of the alleged victim were released. Neither the rape charge nor the new human trafficking charges indicate the age of the alleged victim.

The case has caused major shock throughout the Campbell County political establishment, where Nolan was outspoken and active. Voters just elected Nolan to the school board last November.

To avoid conflicts of interest, a special judge from out of the area, District Court Judge Elizabeth Chandler from Carroll County, is presiding over the case, and all court documents are being filed in Boone County.

Police arrested Nolan after the last set of charges; he was released on $50,000 bond and was placed on an ankle monitor last month. On Thursday, the grand jury asked Chandler to raise that bond to $750,000.

Nolan is due in court Friday for a preliminary hearing on the initial human trafficking charges filed by police last month.

After leaving the bench in the mid-1980s, Nolan became a controversial and outspoken figure in local politics. He became a fixture at Campbell County Fiscal Court meetings, challenging many decisions, sometimes by filing suit. He filed suit in 2008 challenging the location of county offices in Newport. He lost that challenge.

He also filed a defamation lawsuit after being called racist by a website created by other Republicans in Campbell County. That lawsuit is pending.