Jordan Krause has spent much of the past four years trying to get someone to believe he was molested in 2009 by Timothy Smith, the top aide of longtime U.S. Rep. Tim Holden.
Muhlenberg Township police Detective Ramon Caraballo believed him and recommended aggravated indecent assault charges against Smith in 2010 and witness intimidation charges against another man he believed tried to pressure Krause into dropping the complaint.
Still, Berks County District Attorney John Adams declined to file charges, citing insufficient evidence.
The case may well have ended there except Krause and Caraballo wouldn't let it rest.
In 2012, Adams forwarded the case to the state attorney general's office. After a secret grand jury investigation, agents for Attorney General Kathleen Kane on Monday filed charges of aggravated indecent assault and indecent assault against Smith, 53, of Muhlenberg Township.
"For four years people have been looking at me like I'm lying," said Krause, 25, who allowed The Morning Call to use his name. (The newspaper typically does not publish the names of sex-assault victims.) "Not a single day has gone by when I didn't wonder why he was never arrested. Finally, there's a chance for justice. It's like a giant weight has been lifted from me.
"I'm not afraid anymore," he said.
Caraballo said it's been a difficult four years for him, too.
"Because I refused to let this case be covered up, I have been retaliated against," he said.
"I won't say more than that, except to say I don't believe this is the end."
Smith, through his Reading attorney, said he is innocent.
"Mr. Smith is adamant that he committed no criminal offense," said the attorney, Jay Nigrini. "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."
He added, "We're confident that the number of individuals who will support Mr. Smith as character witnesses will be lined up around the courthouse."
Another man told The Morning Call he testified before the same grand jury in October about his own accusations that Smith invited him to his home and molested him when he was a teenager in the late 1980s.
No charges were filed in that case.
Muhlenberg Township police denied The Morning Call's requests for complaints filed against Smith, saying they were part of a criminal investigation.
When first interviewed by The Morning Call in February 2012, Holden and Adams insisted that the allegations were pushed by Elwood Broad, a former top congressional aide who served 18 months in federal prison for embezzling $60,000 from the late U.S. Rep. Gus Yatron's campaign funds.
Broad was a Yatron staff member with Smith in the 1980s, and he was a close friend of Krause's family. Krause was living with Broad at the time of the alleged assault.
Holden told The Morning Call last year, "As far as I can tell, these [allegations] are the actions of a disgruntled employee."
But Caraballo from the start believed a crime was committed. And Krause refused to give up, alleging that Adams had a conflict of interest because he had long-standing political ties to Smith and Holden.