FRONT ROYAL — An Oct. 25 trial by jury has been set for the misdemeanor prostitution charge against former Mayor Hollis Tharpe, who has denied any wrongdoing.

The location of that trial remains unknown, as special prosecutor Heather Hovermale — who took over the case after Commonwealth’s Attorney Brian Madden recused himself from the matter — requested a change in venue.

Arguments for and against the change in the venue are set for a 2:30 p.m. July 25 hearing in Warren County Circuit Court.

The charges against Tharpe stem from a visit to a massage parlor in which he is being accused of soliciting sexual favors for money.

Although Tharpe has denied committing any crimes, he stepped down as mayor in May, saying he did not want any of negative attention from the case to reflect poorly on the town.

– Contact Josh Gully at