Chaplain faces hearing on adultery charges
May 3, 2007
Following an FBI investigation, the Army has formally charged a chaplain at Camp Zama, Japan, with misconduct stemming from his alleged two-year relationship with an Arizona woman.
Capt. Mike Myers, 45, who was ordained by the Christian Churches and Churches of Christ, will face an Article 32 hearing May 23, said Maj. Jim Crawford, a U.S. Army Japan spokesman.
Crawford said seven counts are pending: one for adultery, five for cyberstalking and one for conduct unbecoming an officer.
“The command felt that there was enough credible evidence from the federal investigation to go ahead with the Article 32,” Crawford said Tuesday. “The Army prosecutors are preparing for the hearing, as is Capt. Myers’ defense.”
An Article 32 is similar to a grand jury proceeding under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. There won’t be a judge. An investigating officer will review the inquiry and determine if there is enough evidence to go forward with a court-martial.
Army officials say Myers, who received nonjudicial Field Grade Article 15 disciplinary action last November, remains with Camp Zama’s 441st Military Intelligence Battalion, 500th Military Intelligence Brigade but has been removed from chaplain duties.
“He’s working directly for the senior chaplain on the post,” Crawford said. “There’s not any kind of contact or counseling duties with soldiers. He’s just doing administrative work.”
Joanne Ruffner, 33, claims she was romantically involved with Myers and even made wedding plans until discovering he actually was a chaplain — and married with two teenage children. The two met when Myers was on temporary duty in Arizona, she said.
Attempts to reach Myers by telephone and e-mail have been unsuccessful. His military defense lawyer, Capt. Lynn Williams, who’s based in South Korea, also has not responded to requests for comment.
Sometime after the Army launched its investigation last fall, Ruffner said in previous interviews with Stars and Stripes, she discovered several e-mail accounts in her name and that photos and information about her were posted on adult-oriented Web sites — some requiring payment for access. She said she notified the FBI.
Ruffner has said she believes Myers posted and sent the material, including five nude photos of her, in an attempt to intimidate her.
U.S. Army Japan provided information and assistance during the FBI-led Internet probe, Crawford said, adding that the Army will now prosecute the case under military law.