A former Kentucky judge who served as a local chair for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign was arrested Friday on sex trafficking charges.
Tim Nolan, 70, was charged with human trafficking and unlawful transaction with a minor, according to a press release from Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear. Nolan allegedly provided a minor with alcohol—and subjected a minor to commercial sexual activity, according to court papers first obtained by the River City News.
The alleged trafficking occurred between July and August 2016 when he was serving as Campbell County chairman for Trump’s campaign.
In June, Nolan sued GOPFacts.org for publishing a picture of a man who they claimed was Nolan dressed in Ku Klux Klan robes. Nolan had originally posted the picture on his personal Facebook with the caption “Comn [sic] out to the Rabbit Hole and join the clan” but quickly deleted it, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported. In a suit, Nolan said the picture wasn’t him but rather a friend posing as a joke.
“It’s a joke in the neighborhood because every year [the friend] dresses up as a Klansman and he has two black grandchildren that he loves to death,” Nolan’s attorney said at the time. The Trump campaign kept Nolan on after the KKK incident.
Judges who know Nolan are puzzled by the sex allegations, the Enquirer reports.
“I can’t imagine what he did,” retired family court attorney Mickey Foellger told the paper. Folleger worked as an attorney in the Campbell County attorney’s office during the same years that Nolan served as a judge.
“I don’t want to speculate. It’s mind-boggling that he would be with an underage girl.”
Nolan won a school board seat in Campbell County, Kentucky last November after running on a platform of giving families “school choice vouchers” for and eliminating property tax funding for public schools.
“We are immensely troubled and saddened to hear of the arrest of Mr. Nolan and grieve for those impacted. Campbell County Schools’ leadership is currently monitoring this situation and working to determine next steps,” the school board told The Daily Beast in a statement. “We ask the community for your continued confidence in our commitment to each and every child as we work to provide them with the highest quality education in a safe and secure setting.”
Nolan’s case is being handled in nearby Boone County to avoid any potential conflicts of interest. Nolan’s daughter, Taunya Nolan Jack, is a current Campbell County circuit clerk. After the investigation against Nolan was announced, Campbell district judge Karen Thomas recused all of the county’s district judges and appointed Elizabeth Chandler, a judge from another county.
Nolan served as a district judge in Campbell County in the 1970s and ‘80s and remained a fixture in local politics after leaving the bench. Nolan served as chairman of Trump’s campaign in Campbell County and was part of a group of local Republicans who unsuccessfully tried to remove Mitch McConnell from the Kentucky delegation.
On Friday, Judge Chandler lowered Nolan’s original $50,000 bond on Friday and ordered him to wear an electronic ankle monitor and stay at least 1,000 feet away from the alleged victim and her family, WKRC Cincinnati reported. He has a preliminary hearing scheduled for May 5.