An entrance sign to Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.

An entrance sign to Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. (U.S. Air Force)

Army investigators are expanding their probe into allegations of sexual abuse by a doctor at Joint Base Lewis-McChord to include bases in Hawaii, Maryland and Iraq where he had been stationed, service officials said.

Maj. Michael Stockin is scheduled to be arraigned Feb. 23 on charges of abusive sexual contact and indecent viewing of 42 male patients at Madigan Army Medical Center, the hospital at Lewis-McChord.

Stockin, 38, faces 54 charges stemming from incidents between November 2019 and April 2022 at the combined Army-Air Force base near Tacoma, Wash., according to Michelle McCaskill, spokeswoman for the Army Office of Special Trial Counsel at Fort Belvoir, Va.

Stockin will be the first soldier prosecuted under a new law that removes commanders from deciding whether to proceed with certain criminal cases, including most sex crimes. The new Office of Special Trial Counsel will handle the prosecution.

The new law covers 13 offenses, including murder, manslaughter, kidnapping, domestic violence, stalking, child pornography offenses and most sexual assault and sexual misconduct offenses. Sexual harassment will become part of the counsel’s jurisdiction on Jan. 1, 2025.

All the allegations against Stockin occurred when he was a staff anesthesiologist and pain management physician at Madigan, the Army’s second-largest hospital. Some patients claim they were abused multiple times.

Madigan Army Medical Center at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.

Madigan Army Medical Center at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. (U.S. Army)

“While we cannot state with certainty that this case involves the largest number of sexual assault/sexual abuse victims the Army has prosecuted, however, an accurate characterization is that this case is one of the largest in regard to the number of victims for a case of this type,” McCaskill said.

More charges are possible. McCaskill said the Army Criminal Investigation Division is reviewing whether Stockin could face more charges of sexual abuse from earlier assignments, starting in 2013 when he joined the Army to his latest assignment at Lewis-McChord, which began in July 2019.

In the six years before arriving at Lewis-McChord, Stockin was assigned to Tripler Army Medical Center in Hawaii for a year, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., for five years, and a five-month deployment to Iraq.

“The investigation is ongoing, and as such, we are unable to discuss the underlying facts and circumstances of the charges at this time,” McCaskill said.

Robert Capovilla, a former Army lawyer representing Stockin, could not be reached Friday for comment.

Stockin is facing 48 charges under Article 120 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. It deals with four levels of sex crimes: rape, sexual assault, aggravated sexual contact and abusive sexual contact.

Stockin is also charged with five violations of Article 120c of the UCMJ, which deals with “other sexual misconduct,” including looking at private areas of another person, recording or distributing materials of a sexual nature, pandering (inducing into prostitution), and indecent exposure. Stockin is charged with indecent viewing.

“The maximum sentence for each charge of Article 120 is seven years and the maximum sentence for Article 120c is one year,” McCaskill said. “If convicted of multiple offenses, the judge can order sentences be served concurrently or consecutively. If served consecutively, the maximum sentence for the Article 120 offenses would be 336 years and the maximum sentence for the Article 120c offenses would be six years.”

If convicted, a judge could allow for shorter sentences.

Conviction would also result in Stockin losing all pay and veterans benefits and dismissal from the Army. For an officer, dismissal is equivalent to a dishonorable discharge for an enlisted soldier.

Abusive sexual contact is defined in the UCMJ as “touching of the genitalia, anus, groin, breast, inner thigh, or buttocks of any person.”

In most instances, if Stockin is found guilty, he would have to register as a sex offender in states where he lived, according to the Army website sections on the UCMJ convictions for sex crimes.

The Army has said when allegations of sexual abuse surfaced against Stockin, the doctor was ordered to stop seeing patients in February 2022.

The patients who Stockin is accused of abusing include current service members and veterans.

author picture
Gary Warner covers the Pacific Northwest for Stars and Stripes. He’s reported from East Germany, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Britain, France and across the U.S. He has a master’s degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York.

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