CLEVELAND (AP) – The chairman of a Michigan young Republican group has been accused of raping a 21-year-old woman while both were in Cleveland for a convention last July.

A Cuyahoga County grand jury returned a 17-count indictment yesterday against Michael A. Flory, 32, including charges of rape, kidnapping, aggravated burglary, gross sexual imposition and witness intimidation.

Flory is chairman of the Michigan Federation of Young Republicans, an organization for Republicans from age 18 to 40. He attended the convention of the National Federation of Young Republicans last summer.

Flory, a lawyer, said the charges were baseless and that he would plead not guilty. “As an officer of the court, I am confident the legal system can work, and will work, to vindicate me,” he said in statement Thursday.

Arraignment was set for Feb. 22.

Police said July 9 that a woman, also from Michigan, told them she had been attacked and was taken for hospital treatment. According to a police report, the woman said she had been out drinking with friends, became intoxicated and Flory offered to take her back to her hotel room.

Cleveland police took the case to a prosecutor in December. Police searched then for Flory but did not find him.

Assistant County Prosecutor Carol Skutnik said the case is based largely on the victim’s statement but that there is other possible evidence. She would not elaborate.

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