Timothy Smith, a 20-year top aide to former Congressman Tim Holden, was charged with sexually assaulting a then 21-year-old Reading man in 2009.
Smith was charged Monday with aggravated indecent assault and indecent assault for a Sept. 20, 2009 incident in which he allegedly climbed in bed and fondled the man, who had fallen asleep at Smith's 200 Girard Ave. home after getting drunk at a party there.
The charges come after a grand jury investigation called by the Pennsylvania attorney general's office.
Smith, through his Reading attorney Jay Nigrini, said he is innocent of all charges.
"Mr. Smith is adamant that he committed no criminal offense," Nigrini said. "He's dedicated his life to public service and he's looking forward to clearing his name before a fair and impartial jury of his peers."
The charges were a long time coming for the man, now 25, who reported the incident in 2009, but could not convince Berks County District Attorney John Adams to file charges. Muhlenberg Township police had investigated the incident and recommended sex assault charges, but Adams argued that there was not enough evidence.
Adams ultimately turned the case over to the state attorney general's office.
Charges were filed with Muhlenberg Township District Judge Dean R. Patton, who set bail at $50,000. Smith, who could not immediately be reached for comment, was released after posting bail.
Smith spent 20 years as the top district aide for Holden, a 10-term congressman, whose 17th District included Schuylkill and parts of Berks counties.
Holden left office in January after he was defeated in the 2012 primary by U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright, D-17th District. The district now includes all of Schuylkill County, and parts of Monroe, Carbon, Luzerne and Lackawanna and Northampton counties. In Northampton County, it includes the Easton and Slate Belt regions as well as Nazareth, Bethlehem Township and a sliver of Bethlehem.
If convicted of the charges, Smith, 53, faces up to 12 years in prison.
A preliminary hearing has been set for October 28. Smith will be prosecuted in Berks County by Deputy Attorney General Clarke H. Madden of the attorney general's Criminal Prosecutions Section.
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