Pastor Molests his Own Niece

“Although the prosecutor sought a harsher penalty, a Cumberland County judge yesterday sentenced former Protestant pastor Lane Hurley to 5-to-10 years in prison for molesting his 10-year-old niece.”Hurley, 56, of Norfolk, Va., has twice been convicted of aggravated indecent assault and related charges for abusing the girl while living with her family in Dickinson Twp. in the summer of 1997.”

[Patriot News]

31 Responses to “Pastor Molests his Own Niece”


  1. 1 Lenn Reed January 8, 2007 at 1:54 AM

    Dr. Hurley has also molested his two oldest daughters, and at least one other young girl in the Matthewes NC congregation. He preyed on women of his congregation who approached him for counseling and according to official records of the United Methodist Church is morally currupt. His credentials as a minister in the UMC were removed in 1995.

    This twice convicted child molester has once again been released on bond pending appeal. He has hired new attorneys who have filed 33 motions for a new trial. His bail of $1.2million only proves that there is a different set of rules for the rich and those who claim to me men of the gospel in our society.

    The most frightening aspect of this entire terror is that Dr.Hurley was released back into his own home where there is a 5 yr old daughter. She is approximately the same age that the oldest girls were when their first memories of the molestation began.

    On behalf of his daughters, I beg each of you to pray and talk about the injustice of this to anyone you know.

  2. 2 Donna Simpson February 7, 2007 at 10:58 PM

    Is Dr. Hurley currently in prison? He was minister at a small church in Charlotte I attended after his problems in Matthews, NC. He was the best speaker I have ever heard. What a tragedy for his family and a waste for society!

  3. 3 Erin Cleaver January 2, 2008 at 3:33 AM

    I’ve attended Dr. Hurley’s trial and this is a true tragedy. It is too obvious that Dr. Hurley was falsely accused and falsely convicted. His niece admitted she did not remember the abuse until she recovered the memory in therapy! Oh, gosh, everyone knows repressed memories are false memories, and there is even been a Law and Order episode about this! The true tragedy is the false accusations, the lies, the sins of the liers, and the suffering that Dr. Hurley’s family is experiencing as a result. I pray for them every day and hope the conviction is overturned before it’s too late.

    I also pray for the poor deluded girl who has bought into her therapist’s perverted imagination to cope with her eating disorder. I hope she heals from the devil’s grip on her soul and pleads that her uncle forgive her lies and sins!

    What a terrible tragedy all around.

    To Lenn Reed: I’ve searched all newspapers and public records and there is not a single record of Dr. Hurley being arrested or even investigated for abuse of any kind of any other children. The prosecutor did not bring this up at trial, as he surely would have if this were true! I thing we should discuss this case, but do so honestly. Dr. Hurley has suffered enough. Dr. Hurley is the true victim here.

  4. 4 Josef July 6, 2008 at 8:04 PM

    If you have ever met Lane, you probably have been deceived by him in some way. It is true that he did molest his niece. He was convicted…twice…for this but sadly, is still not in prison. As for his daughters and their alleged molestation, it has never gone to trial. Even if it did, Lane has enough money to stay out of prison for those offenses as well. You can believe whatever you want about False Memory Syndrome. From my research, it seems to me that anyone who throws out False Memory only has something to hide. Remember, that is my own opinion. I pray for the child that currently lives with him and for any young child that crosses his path. Lane Hurley is a monster and needs to be incarcerated.

  5. 5 John August 22, 2008 at 3:05 PM

    I was an alternate at Lane’s first trial in Carlisle. There is no doubt in my mind that he did, in fact, molest his niece. This man is a monster and should be incarcerated immediately.

  6. 6 James September 23, 2008 at 7:32 PM

    Message to Erin-

    If you did attend his trails and believe that he is innocent, then you are simply another victim. Just because he hasn’t been arrested for other deeds, doesn’t mean that they didn’t occur. I just wish that the PA system would change their laws and he would have to appeal from jail. By the time he goes to prison he’ll be dead or too old for it to matter!

  7. 7 Kelly Gregory October 23, 2008 at 3:17 AM

    what is the status of his custody? I am unable to find any info.

  8. 8 John January 2, 2009 at 7:02 PM

    The PA Superior Court has denied Lane Hurley’s latest appeals. He should be sent off to the 5-10 year prison sentence that he so justly deserves within the very near future.

  9. 9 Lorraine March 25, 2009 at 1:21 AM

    Lane is a sick man. 5 – 10 years is not near enough time for what he did to his victims and how their lives will never be the same because of what he did. He had it all and he blew it big time.

  10. 10 louise April 3, 2009 at 12:32 AM

    Lane absolutely molested his niece and his daughters. To Erin: if you are certain he did not molest his daughters, why don’t you call them and ask them? It’s really unfair to claim that you know the truth, when you have not talked to any of the victims involved. I know his children personally and there is not doubt in my mind that he molested his girls. The tragedy in this is that there is still a child living in his home right now that he has free access to. It should be a crime that he was allowed to be out on bail for two years after his second conviction.

  11. 11 a concerned citizen July 11, 2009 at 8:50 PM

    FINALLY, he’s off to jail soon. Here is the article which was just published:

    Pa. court rejects appeal of former Norfolk minister
    Posted to: Crime News
    Related: Ex-Norfolk minister gets 5 years for molesting niece in Pa.

    By Michelle Washington
    The Virginian-Pilot
    © July 11, 2009

    The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has refused to hear the appeal of a former Norfolk minister convicted there of molesting his niece more than a decade ago.

    The ruling means Lane Hurley must report to court in Carlisle next week, where he will likely be taken into custody, a Cumberland County, Pa., district attorney said Friday. Hurley had remained free on bail pending his appeal.

    After Hurley’s conviction, a judge ruled that he must serve a minimum of five years.

    Hurley was the minister of First Christian Church in Ghent. The crimes took place in the summer of 1997, when the girl was 10 and Hurley was living with her family in Pennsylvania. Hurley was first convicted of the crimes in 2003, but a Pennsylvania court granted him a new trial on the grounds that his lawyer did not effectively represent him.

    Hurley had maintained that he is innocent.

    – Michelle Washington, The Pilot

  12. 12 Mr Justice July 13, 2009 at 3:21 PM

    Finally this non-productive member of society will be sent to prison to account for his crimes. There is not doubt in my mind that he committed these crimes and I hope that he is some how rehabilitated and will turn his life around, but I have serious doubts about it.

    To Erin: Much of the information pertaining to earlier information at ea

  13. 13 Mr Justice July 13, 2009 at 3:23 PM

    sorry, cont…
    To Erin: much of the information was kept out the trial at his lawyer’s request and the judge’s request due to the fact that it occurred when he was a minister in the UMC system and when he turned in his credentials, all that was hidden from public record….just because it wasn’t part of the trial doesn’t make it not fact.

  14. 14 One who was also there July 14, 2009 at 6:25 AM

    For Erin: I was also at the trials and realize you did not listen carefully. The child first spoke details to the therapist about what happened to her. She was in fact starting to tell which prompted her mother to take her to her therapist, for it was too hard for her to tell her mother or her teacher at school the details. Erin, how hard would it be for a child to talk about the horrors of what happened to her? The defense tried to turn this into a recovered memory scam. It failed, for that was not what happened.

    Erin, what this child endured and how she was able finally to share about her life is not unusual. Learn about this from people who work with this on a daily basis…to therapists, to detectives, to parents of abused children, to persons who have been abused themselves. Speak to other victims of Mr. Hurley. Speak to his former employers. Speak to this child’s parents. Speak to the detective who uncovered so so much which could never be shared.Speak to the 24 jurors who were at the trials. Become much more well informed by real people rather than a 50 minute TV show, which by the way has also had programs on the same issue from the opposite point of view.

    Finally, be thankful that you were not one of Mr. Hurley’s victims and be grateful that for at least the next five years there will not be more.

  15. 15 Mr Justice July 14, 2009 at 2:17 PM

    To Erin:

    the fact that you refer to him as Dr. Hurley is evidence that you are being deceived by him even as we speak. He can no longer go by Dr. Hurley because he had to turn in his credentials to the Methodist Church, which includes his title of Dr. from Duke Divinity School.

    I also attended the trials and agree with One Who Was Also There, he/she makes many valid points that you should take into consideration when examining the facts. I personally say, that if he has been convicted twice of these crimes and the appeals have been denied, then by all means it proves that he is GUILTY and deserves much more than the sentence he has gotten. May God have mercy on his soul and all of those who have been surrounded by this terrible tragedy. What a wasted life!

  16. 16 nancy July 15, 2009 at 8:50 AM

    As one more person who was abused repeatedly by Lane Hurley I feel great relief that he will finally have to have consequences
    for all the evil he perpetrated.

  17. 17 Ryan July 16, 2009 at 10:02 PM

    I was a juror on the 2nd trial of Lane Hurley. If ever a group was absolutely sure of the guilt of a person brought up for trial, it was with this man! The pain on the face of all of his family -his niece, his sister, his two daughters who were in the courtroom -was so evident, and the entire jury knew on the first straw vote that we would have an immediate unanimous verdict.
    I have wondered how his present wife would let their child live with him! Thank goodness the judicial system is finally putting him away.

  18. 18 cares a lot July 17, 2009 at 3:16 PM

    Hurley to begin jail sentence Tuesday

    By Heather Stauffer, Sentinel Reporter, July 17, 2009

    Last updated: Friday, July 17, 2009 9:19 AM EDT

    No comments posted.

    A former Protestant minister twice convicted of child molestation is scheduled to begin his 5- to 10-year state prison sentence Tuesday after exhausting every avenue of appeal but one.

    Lane Hurley, 59, of Norfolk, Va., has been free on bail pending appeal almost since his first conviction in May 2003. He was granted a second trial in November 2006 on grounds of ineffective counsel. His bail, originally set at $150,000, was increased to $300,000 following his reconviction and then increased to $1.25 million in December 2006.

    Cumberland County District Attorney David Freed said he anticipates “some sort of desperate last-minute maneuver” when Hurley appears before Cumberland County Judge J. Wesley Oler for commitment.

    “His only avenue of appeal left is to the U.S. Supreme Court, and that has never kept someone in this situation from beginning his sentence,” Freed said. “We are pleased for the victim, that she will finally see this child molester locked up — where he belongs.”

    Jaime Keating, Cumberland County first assistant district attorney, noted that prosecutors requested that Hurley’s bail be denied.

    Hurley was convicted of molesting a then-10-year-old girl while he lived with her family in the summer of 1997 in Dickinson Township. The specific charges are aggravated indecent assault, indecent assault and involuntary deviate sexual intercourse of a person less than 13 years of age and corruption of minors.

  19. 19 cares a lot July 22, 2009 at 1:14 AM

    Finally he is behind bars.

  20. 20 Suzanne September 1, 2009 at 10:08 PM

    Thank God this man is behind bars! As one who has experienced his evil in ritual religious abuse, I am so glad that he cannot harm anytone else – at least for a while. God bless his other victims!

  21. 22 His Daughter September 2, 2009 at 2:10 PM

    Suzanne,
    Thank you so much for sharing about your experience. It saddens me to the core to know that you experience his ritual abuse as well. But it does help any feelings of guilt that we as his family might hold about his going to jail to know that as we have always suspected there were many more girls and women abused. Thank you for sharing. If you want to be in touch, please post and I’ll post my contact information.

  22. 23 annimous December 20, 2009 at 10:55 PM

    Oh.//// how did this happen…I was 30ish and so stupid or innocent… whioh is it”””

  23. 24 Saunders Scott January 5, 2010 at 5:28 PM

    As a former psychiatric nurse of 25 years, I have known many therapists who “uncovered memories” of sexual abuse. There were times that I know of where the therapists were “leading the witness.” There is much controversy within the psychiatric community about the validity of diagnosing people who have repressed memories. One doctor I know would not diagnose someone with PTSD because it is a diagnosis that is frequently used to sue people. Many therapists have recently learned to diagnose Multiple Personality Disorder and are quick to put this label on people. Certainly it is in the realm of possibilities that Lane Hurley was guilty, but remember that in this country a man or woman is innocent until proven guilty. Let justice be served but not at the expense of a man who may have been innocent. His life is already ruined, he has been stripped of his professional credentials, incredible sums of money have been spent on attorneys. Isn’t this enough? Again, I maintain serious doubts about whether the psychiatric treatment itself was a big part of the problem.

  24. 25 burn baby burn November 2, 2011 at 11:49 PM

    Unfortunately, I was part of his church in Matthews growing up. My mother went through a divorce and he targeted her. You people defending him are a bunch of nut cases. Why would all these people lie about this “man of god”. He is a predator and now he will be the prey. Burn in hell Lane Hurley.

  25. 26 livingpresently November 3, 2011 at 5:12 PM

    burn baby burn,
    So sorry for your experience with him. Sadly I do not believe that your and your mother’s experience was an isolated one. Keep the faith. He is not the church or God. God is truly heartbroken over his mockery.

  26. 27 Kris June 24, 2012 at 12:10 AM

    I grew up in that church. I was there before he arrived and as a child I looked forward to his sermons. I spent many nights at his house and my sister would babysit his kids. Our families were very close. After my parents divorced he preformed both of the weddings when they remarried. We were all shocked to hear about this.

    I’m sorry his family had to go through this. They hold a very special place in my heart.

    • 28 Allison September 7, 2013 at 2:03 PM

      I also grew up in Matthews Methodist Church. Therefore when my family moved back to Matthews my husband, children and I went back to church there. Lane told great stories and entertained us with his “sermons”. But I noticed one thing was missing…there was almost no emphasis on Jesus Christ.
      One day I found a book Lane had given my oldest son and read some very offensive things on how the author thought Jesus was conceived. I called Lane, had my son return the book and soon left the church.
      I was still shocked when I heard about the things he was doing…especially to those of you who were innocent children.I think he should have put in jail for life.
      May God bring healing to those who have suffered his evil.
      I recently heard Lane died…is this correct?

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