SNAP wants independent probe of EMU about ex-VP Luke Hartman

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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) -- An advocacy group wants independent investigation of accusations of past abuse, stalking, and threats allegedly by Luke Hartman, a former vice president at Eastern Mennonite Univ. and a member of Lindale Mennonite Church.

You may remember Hartman was arrested on solicitation of prostitution earlier this year, but that case was later dismissed in court.

The group that wants an investigation is the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests --or SNAP. They are urging Mennonite leaders to hire independent investigators to look into a different case involving Hartman. The group wants these investigators to look at women's accusations of sexual and verbal abuse, stalking, and threats of violence.

SNAP also claims he was able to stay in his position long after credible accusations were made.

Jennifer Yoder, a SNAP victim advocate, said: "We need to see an investigation into who had knowledge and when, and absolutely resignations would be called for depending on the results of that investigation. We need to see acknowledgment of wrong-doing, apologies for harm caused, and overhauls of the policies for how we respond to sexual violence."

WHSV also reached out to EMU for a statement.

They didn't comment on SNAP's specific allegations, but they told us: "When the request came from the denominational panel for EMU to collaborate with Lindale Mennonite Church and Virginia Mennonite Conference, EMU board postponed its action. EMU is open to be a part of the process that is being developed by the panel."

SNAP said it is important to have an independent and outside panel investigate.

The group said in the past Mennonites have hand-picked their investigators which can make an investigation biased.