Attorney pleads not guilty to human trafficking charges


    A lawyer indicted on 15 charges of rape, human trafficking involving minors and bribing a witness pleaded not guilty Monday and failed in his attempt to have his bail reduced. (WKRC)

    COVINGTON, Kentucky - A lawyer indicted on 15 charges of rape, human trafficking involving minors and bribing a witness pleaded not guilty Monday and failed in his attempt to have his bail reduced.

    Robert Poole, 50, was charged in an indictment on Nov. 15. He's being held in the Kenton County Jail on a $100,000 bond. He appeared in Kenton County Circuit Court via video link Monday afternoon. His attorney asked that his bail be reduced.

    "Mr. Poole is a life-long resident of this area and he has a thriving practice at the moment," said Mary Rafizadeh. "He has zero criminal history to my knowledge I don't believe he's had any complaints about him."

    The assistant attorney general handling the case against Poole argued his bail should remain the same. One of the charges dates back to 2005. Poole is also charged with bribing a witness in May of 2018 in an effort to influence the witness' testimony.

    "Some of the victims in this indictment remain fearful should the defendant be released on bond," said Assistant Attorney General Barbara Whaley.

    The attorney general's office stated the investigation into Poole arose from the case against former Campbell County judge Timothy Nolan. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison earlier in 2018 for sex crimes involving 19 women, including some who were underage and addicted to drugs. Judge Gregory Bartlett said Poole's bail would not change.

    "These are extremely serious charges and the bribing a witness charge is one that I can't ignore," Bartlett said.

    Neither Poole's attorney nor his family would comment Monday. His next court date is in January.

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