Attorney, wife face abduction charges in Petersburg

Attorney, wife face abduction charges in Petersburg

PETERSBURG, Va. (WWBT) - A Petersburg attorney and his wife are facing a list of charges, including assault and battery and abduction, after an employee says the pair beat her.

According to court documents, a woman says while in a limo traveling from Richmond to Petersburg with Charles Hardenbergh and his wife Mari, Charles Hardenbergh jumped on top of her and held a pillow over her head.

The woman says Mari Hardenbergh beat her in the head and face while the pillow was held over her head. The employee’s statement goes on to say that she eventually got out of the limo and walked to her Petersburg home.

“When I got home, I took two pictures and his wife arrived at my house asking for her dog. I told her to leave my house," the woman said in a statement to police. “Then Charles arrived and asked to come in. I said no, and somehow he got into the house from the back. Charles beat me and terrorized me in my house for four hours or more. His wife, Mari Hardenbergh, during part of the beating, taped it on her phone.”

Charles Hardenbergh has been charged with trespassing, assault, breaking and entering, abduction, destruction of property and obstructing communication. Mari Hardenbergh has been charged with trespassing, assault, breaking and entering, abduction and larceny.

According to a biography online, Charles Hardenbergh’s practice is dedicated to criminal traffic defense. He has been an outspoken critic of reckless driving by speed laws as applied in Virginia, and he stridently opposes the imposition of any “mandatory minimum” prison time for alcohol-related and other substance offenses.

The employee accusing the Hardenberghs says she has been a friend, volunteer and driven the couple since 2016. She says she has “acted” as an employee for the couple since February 2017.

Charles and Mari Hardenbergh appeared in court Monday morning. When they went before a judge, Charles Hardenbergh said “I’ve had better days,” Mari Hardenbergh said “[I’ve] been better.”

The two said the could not talk about the situation, referring NBC 12 to their attorney.

Their attorney Jack Randall released the following statement to NBC 12: “My clients are hurt by these allegations from a trusted friend they considered family. They and their family, and friends care deeply and are praying for her. They unequivocally deny any wrong doing whatsoever.”

In November and December 2019, all of the charges the Hardenberghs faced in this case were set aside, however, there is a chance the charges could be brought back at a later date.

Copyright 2019 WWBT. All rights reserved.