September 29, 2005
Former UVa researcher Martin Straume was in court today for a hearing. He faces several charges including stalking a graduate student and allegedly trying to run her over with his car.
Not only is Straume accused of harassing the woman by email and with threatening phone calls, but according to the police report, the victim says she feared for her life.
"There is unequivocal evidence against Martin Straume in the form of over a 1000 emails documenting the evidence against him," said a witness and friend of the victim.
She is referring to emails also documented in the police report.
In it, the victim said she repeatedly asked Straume to stop pursuing a romantic relationship and then Straume allegedly "got angry over her coldness."
The victim also says Straume threatened her in emails saying "he wants for me to die" and "he wishes me great bodily and emotional harm."
"He has admitted to many of the charges in emails and to the dean of the medical school. There were witnesses to the harassment, and police were extremely concerned about the violent nature of the harassment and the fact that [it] was clearly escalating," said the victim's friend.
The victim told police that on September 13th she rode her motor scooter to Straume's office at Gilmore Hall.
She said, "she hoped to calm him down." That's when Straume tried to hit her with his car.
This morning, as he left the Albemarle district court, Straume said nothing. We later tried to reach the former research professor at his home but he did not come to the door.
The University of Virginia says that they cannot comment on a pending trial, but they did say that Straume resigned from the University on September 21st. He is currently out on a $3,500 bond awaiting his next court appearance on November 10th.
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