USS Chung-Hoon, U.S. Navy photo.
Sex convictions shake Pearl ship
Charges of fraternization and adultery embroil 13 sailors aboard the destroyer Chung Hoon
TWELVE PEARL HARBOR sailors, ranging in rank from seaman apprentice to lieutenant and assigned to the USS Chung Hoon, one of the Navy's newest destroyers, have been convicted of charges ranging from fraternization to adultery.
USS CHUNG HOON
» Commissioned: Sept. 18, 2004
» Base: Pearl Harbor
» Crew: 35 officers, 245 enlisted sailors
» Cost: $1 billion
» Length: 510 feet
Source: U.S. Navy
In all, 13 Chung Hoon sailors were involved in the incidents, which the Navy said took place from September 2004, when the destroyer was commissioned at Pearl Harbor, to last April.
The Navy said the remaining charge involves Lt. Tobias Chappell, the ship's supply officer, the defendant in a court-martial at Pearl Harbor this week. Chappell is charged with secretly carrying on a relationship with a female enlisted sailor -- Petty Officer Tony Yarbrough -- last December.
Chappell is charged with three counts of fraternization with three sailors, one an officer; making a false statement; cruelty and maltreatment of two subordinates; theft of two government laptops; and obstruction of justice. His court-martial began Monday.
The Navy said that of the five men and five women charged under a nonjudicial captain's mast rather than a court-martial, nine were given punishment.|
Yarbrough pleaded guilty at a court-martial Aug. 2 to two counts of unauthorized absence, disrespect to a superior officer and two violations of fraternization. The Navy said the fraternization charge dealt with two supervisors. She was sentenced to six months' confinement, reduction in rank to seaman apprentice and a fine of $750 a month for six months and a bad-conduct discharge. Yarbrough married Chappell in December; they have a daughter.
Convicted in October on two counts of fraternization was Lt. Bernie Ridgeway. He was confined for 60 days and fined $3,000 per month for five months and given a reprimand. In accordance with a pretrial agreement, the Navy said Ridgeway pleaded guilty to having an affair with two women.
The Navy said that of the five men and five women charged under a nonjudicial captain's mast rather than a court-martial, nine were given punishment. Under privacy laws, the Navy said it cannot release the names of those sailors or their punishments.
The commander of the 510-foot destroyer at the time of the incidents was Cmdr. Kenneth Williams, who was relieved on a routine change-of-duty assignment on Sept. 2. He is now attending the Joint Forces Staff College in Norfolk, Va.
The current commander is Cmdr. David Welch. The Navy said Welch was declining requests to be interviewed because of the ongoing judicial proceedings.