Woman charged with preaching nude at Shepherd College

November 13, 2002|BY DAVE McMILLION

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. - A 49-year-old Martinsburg, W.Va., woman was charged with indecent exposure and other violations after Shepherd College police responded to the front of McMurran Hall Monday and found a nude woman outside reading a Bible, court records said.

Barbara Marie Harmison of 848 E. Moler Ave., Apt. 3, was also charged with disturbance of school and disorderly conduct, Jefferson County Magistrate Court records said.

Harmison was being held in the Eastern Regional Jail Tuesday night on $2,000 bond.

Shepherd College police initially made contact with the woman around 10 a.m. Monday, court records said.

Campus police told the woman she could not preach on the campus unless she received permission from the school's student affairs department, court records said. Sgt. David Kelvington said he believes the woman had been preaching in front of McMurran Hall, which is downtown at the corner of German and King streets.


Police told the woman that if she received permission to preach on the campus, she would have to do so on the midway, an open grassy area between the student center and Sara Cree Hall, court records said.

At about 1:30 p.m., campus police received another call regarding the woman, court records said. Police were told the woman was reading from the Bible in front of McMurran Hall, court records said.

"At this time, the defendant was reading from the Bible and she was totally nude. There were people standing all over and there were classes going on during this time," Patrolman R.A. Houchins said in a criminal complaint.

The woman's clothes were piled beside her, Kelvington said.

Police asked the woman to put her clothes and shoes back on, court records said. She then was handcuffed, Houchins said.

The woman did not say why she was preaching in the nude, Kelvington said.

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