Monday, March 10, 2008

Navy Doctor Videotaped Guests in His Home Having Sex.

In November 2007, a jury of six Navy captains sentenced CDR Kevin Ronan a 46-month term in the Navy brig and ordered his dismissal from the military. He had been convicted of conduct unbecoming an officer, illegal wiretapping and obstruction of justice. He began serving his sentence shortly afterward.

Navy prosecutors had asked for the 46-month sentence because it was equal to the time a midshipman spends at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.
But Vice Adm. Adam M. Robinson, the Navy’s surgeon general, has decided to reduce the sentence.

“The surgeon general said that he believed 24 months was adequate, so he directed that the remainder of that 46 months be suspended,” said a spokesman. “What that means is if Commander Ronan is a model prisoner, then once he reaches that two-year mark, the suspension [of the sentence] will go into effect.”

Vice Admiral Robinson weighed the benefit of keeping CDR Ronan confined for the full sentence, the expense of confinement and a belief that Ronan had been sent a significant message about his actions.

CDR Ronan denied making the recordings during testimony at his trial, but acknowledged he bought an air purifier with a hidden camera. Ronan’s defense was that the tapes were made by midshipmen in an effort to extort money from him.

Before he was sentenced, CDR Ronan expressed regret but did not take responsibility for the tapes. “A crime occurred in my house with equipment I knowingly provided and I take responsibility for that,” he said.

Navy prosecutors alleged Ronan used the camera to tape the male midshipmen having sex with girlfriends or masturbating while they stayed in guest bedrooms at his Annapolis home. The midshipmen were there as part of an academy program that places students in private homes during their free time.

Ronan testified that he bought the device to make sure the students didn’t throw parties while he wasn’t home. He said he tested it once, but later used it only to clean the air in the spare bedrooms, not for taping.

Ronan allegedly began using the camera for taping as early as May 2006. Two men, one a midshipman, the other a former student, found the recordings and turned them over to authorities.
Before he was assigned to the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, CDR Ronan ran the Naval Academy’s student health clinic for four years until 2006. He was also a doctor for several Navy sports teams.

He hosted about a dozen students at his house, mostly as part of the Naval Academy’s sponsorship program.

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