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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The state Attorney General’s Office has filed nearly 20-misdemeanor charges against the Mercer County District Attorney.

Miles Karson, 71, faces multiple counts, including obstruction of justice, official oppression and hindering apprehension.

The offenses date back to April of 2016.

The Attorney General’s Office says Karson allegedly intervened in criminal cases involving his girlfriend, who is a known heroin user.

A grand jury reportedly found that Karson told the woman’s probation officer not to put her in jail. He also allegedly used his power to keep her out of trouble in other ways.

He released a statement Friday afternoon, saying:

“I learned last evening for the first time that certain misdemeanor charges had been filed against me by the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office. I have not, as yet, had a chance to review and evaluate those charges, and therefore, it would be inappropriate for me to comment on them at this time. However, I can assure you that I have committed no offenses and I am anxious to fight the allegations made in the charges of court.

“In the meantime, I intend to perform the duties of my office as District Attorney of Mercer County in conformance with the law. I am declining further comment on these charges because as a lawyer for some 42 years, I am of the opinion that matters such as these should be tried in court and not the media. I am a firm believer in and have great trust in the legal process.”

As a press conference Friday with his attorney, Karson maintained his innocence.

“I assure you, that I have committed no offense, and I am anxious to fight the allegations made in a courtroom,” he said.

“In America, you’re innocent until proven guilty, and, consequently, you have an absolute right to have your case taken to trial,” said defense attorney Alexander Lindsay Jr. “What do I say? People are going to think what they’re going to think. It’s America, everybody has opinions.”

Karson has a preliminary hearing for Dec. 18.

Stay with KDKA for the latest on this developing story.