No Bail Reduction for Ex-Pastor Accused of Assault

By Tatiana Zarnowski
Carlisle Sentinel [Pennsylvania]
February 9, 2007

Lane Hurley won't get a bail reduction from Cumberland County Court while he appeals for a new trial in connection with the 1997 molestation of his niece.

But he could apply for the same relief from the state Superior Court, said one of his attorneys. Karl Rominger said Friday he wasn't sure whether Hurley, 56, a former Virginia minister convicted of sexually assaulting the then-10-year-old girl, will ask the higher court for lower bail.

Judge J. Wesley Oler on Friday denied Hurley's motion to reduce the $1.25 million bail Oler set when he sentenced Hurley to 5 to 10 years in state prison in December.

Hurley argued in a motion to Oler that he is not able to pay his lawyers because all of his assets are tied up with a bail bondsman and his and his wife's incomes are needed for "daily necessities." Hurley now works for H&R Block after resigning as a minister following the charges.

Rominger said since he and a Philadelphia lawyer, Barnaby Wittels, took over the case after the jury's guilty verdict in November, they have had to spend hours reading the voluminous file to familiarize themselves with the case. "Just reading through it and getting up to speed on it eats up more money than most people can afford."

Rominger said Hurley has a "very strong appeal" in going after the validity of repressed memories. A hearing is scheduled March 21 for Oler to hear Hurley's attorneys' appeal for a new trial.

The victim, who is now 20, told authorities she didn't remember being abused until after she had an emotional breakdown in eighth grade.

Since police began investigating the allegations years afterward, there was no physical or DNA evidence.

Hurley, of Norfolk, Va., was living with the girl's family in Dickinson Township during the summer of 1997 when authorities say the abuse occurred. A jury convicted him in November of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, aggravated indecent assault, indecent assault and corruption of minors.

A county jury also convicted him of the same charges in 2003, but the state Superior Court overturned that conviction the next year after Hurley appealed on the grounds that his attorney at the time, Joshua Lock, was ineffective.



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