FRONT ROYAL — The preliminary hearing for the former Christendom College professor charged with sexual assault allegations was continued Thursday to next year because of a last-minute motion from the defense to exclude the press.
William Luckey, 72, is due back in Warren County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court at 10:30 a.m. Jan. 6. Luckey is charged with solicitation of a minor younger than 16 years old and two counts of taking indecent liberties with a child.
Luckey’s attorney Shannon Johnson made the motion just before the hearing was set to begin.
Judge Daryl Funk initially questioned if not allowing the press from observing the hearing was a violation of the First Amendment.
But after a recess of a few minutes, Funk returned to the courtroom citing a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that allowed the defense to file the motion, but also allows the press to intervene in the matter and argue it case to be present. Given the allegations in the complaint against Luckey, Funk stated he understood Johnson's motion.
The motion to close the courtroom to the press came after time was spent to set up video conference equipment in another room in which the alleged victim would provide testimony, while Luckey remained in the Juvenile and Domestic Relations courtroom.
The testimony of alleged victims who are minors can be set up through video conferencing to keep them from being intimidated by the defendant in the same room, Warren County Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Samantha Meadows previously explained.
Meadows said Thursday she planned to call the alleged victim, Warren County Sheriff’s Office Investigator Kristin Hajduk and a member of the Luckey family to the stand during the hearing.
According to the criminal complaint, Luckey is accused of asking a child if he could touch their “bottom” in exchange for $10.
The child said no, the complaint states. Luckey then had the child lie on their stomach on a bed as he placed his hand under the child’s clothes. Luckey then put $10 on the bed.
Luckey is released from custody on $50,000 bond. He is not to have any contact with minors without another adult being present by sight or sound. He must also not have any contact directly or indirectly with the child or the child’s family members.
Luckey, a Marine Corps veteran, was a professor at Christendom College after receiving several advanced degrees. He retired from the school in 2015 and was most recently teaching at the Padre Pio Academy at the St. John Baptist Catholic Church in Front Royal.
Officials from both schools have said he wouldn’t be returning to teach.