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Luke Hartman case dismissed in Harrisonburg court

3.29. 2016 Written By: Gordon Houser

Photo: Luke Hartman. EMU photo. 

A district court judge in Harrisonburg, Va., dismissed the solicitation of prostitution charge against Luke Hartman on March 29, according to WHSV-TV reporter Katie Caler.

The judge dismissed the case because the statutes for the charge were not met when a specific act was not discussed before money was allegedly exchanged.

Hartman, former Vice President of Enrollment at Eastern Mennonite University and Mennonite convention speaker, was one of 10 people charged in an undercover prostitution operation conducted by Harrisonburg Police and the Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office on Jan. 9.

Video and audio recordings from phone calls between Hartman and the undercover officers were played in court, wrote Caler. Witnesses testified Hartman was the voice in the recordings and was in the video of the hotel room.

The Harrisonburg Police Department was contacted but did not return a request for comment.

In a March 29 statement, Barbara Dorris of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said, “It’s very likely that those who have been hurt by Hartman will feel hurt again by this development. We deeply sympathize with them.”

On March 24, we reported that “in a March 20 letter to congregants, the staff and board of elders of Lindale Mennonite Church, Linville, Va., acknowledged that staff have been aware of reports of an abusive relationship with congregation member Luke Hartman since August 2014.”

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