Sober Living Facility Pastor Charged With Sex Assault

Little Rock’s Fox affiliate reports:

A Gravette sober living facility pastor was arrested for sexual assault after he allegedly used his position of authority to take advantage of a resident. Thomas Hartman, 53, was arrested on January 20 and booked into the Benton County jail on a $150,000 bond. According to a police report, the Wings of Peace NWA website formerly listed Hartman and his wife as the founders of the ministry, which includes “a dwelling that can house 12-16 men.”

Hartman told police that he “never pushed [the man] to do anything” and that he felt like the sexual relationship was “a slip-up on his part” because “he was trying not to live that gay lifestyle anymore and devote his life to the ministry.” The Arkansas statute pertaining to third degree sexual assault states that the law applies if a person in the clergy or in a position of trust or authority uses that trust to have sexual intercourse with a victim.

Read the full article. Hartmann has a 1998 conviction on child sex charges. He was paroled after five years in prison and is a registered sex offender. Hartmann also faces weapons charges for owning guns as a sex offender.