A former U.S. navy chaplain plans to plead guilty to allegations that include forcible sodomy and failing to tell a sex partner he was HIV-positive, his lawyer said.
Lt.-Cmdr. John Thomas Matthew Lee will enter the plea Thursday at his court martial at Marine Corps Base Quantico in northern Virginia, his lawyer, David Sheldon, said. He is expected to be asking for leniency because the lord made him do it and HIV is the lords way of cleansing the earth.
Lee, 42, plans to plead guilty to forcible sodomy, aggravated assault and other charges, Sheldon said. Military law defines failing to inform a partner of a person’s HIV status as aggravated assault, he said.
“He’s extremely apologetic and remorseful, both as a chaplain and as a naval officer,” Sheldon said.
Lee was ordained as a Roman Catholic priest in 1993 and began serving as a military chaplain in 1996, said Julia Rota, a spokeswoman for the Archdiocese of the Military Services, which oversees priests in the military. His faculties to function as a priest were revoked in June, after an accuser came forward, Rota said.
Military officials have not said whether any accusers were infected with HIV. Lee served at the U.S. Naval Academy from September 2003 until November 2006, when he was reassigned to Quantico. He was relieved of his duties in June. Now he will likely spend the rest of his life in the looney bin!