Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Former Navy Chaplain sentenced to 10 years for sexual exploitation of young female sailors

Former Navy Chaplain Lt. Shane Dillman was sentenced to 10 years in prison and discharge from the Navy for taking sexual advantage of young Navy sailors he was supposed to be ministering to. The sentence, handed down yesterday by Capt. Moira Modzelewski, must be affirmed by the commander of Naval Air Force Atlantic Rear Adm. Richard O'Hanlon.

Dillman admitted to multiple affairs with women but pleaded not guilty to rape, fraternization, and making a threat. After a 4 day trial, only the making a threat charge led to a not guilty verdict.

Dillman, a married father of three, was a Pentecostal minister endorsed by the Coalition of Spirit-Filled Churches. He has been on administrative duty since the charges were filed.
Charles Gittins, his civilian lawyer, said before sentencing that Dillman, 37, had been affected by ministering to more than 800 injured Marines while stationed at Bethesda Naval Medical Center.

A defense witness, psychologist Don Lewittes, said Dillman likely suffered from "vicarious traumatization," and began feeling dead inside. The sex was a means of trying to feel alive, Lewittes theorized.

When Dillman spoke at his sentencing hearing, he apoligozed to his family, the Navy, and God, saing that it was an honor to have served as a chaplain for a dozen years.

Lt. j.g. Bill Geraty said that the a sentenced in Dillman's statement, "I'm sorry the circumstances have taken ministry opportunities away from me," showed that the defendant showed a lack of remorse and a focus on his own losses, not the impact of the crime on the victims. Geraty also explained that the pattern of friendship leading to sexual involvement was "not a case of 'Whoops, I stepped over the line.'

"This was calculated...When Marines and sailors go to a chaplain for solace," he said, "they do not expect to enter the wolf's lair."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The sad fact is that the nearly 900 other Navy chaplains serving honorably before God and man will have this thrown in their faces by those who do not care for the work chaplains do, and good people are given cause to wonder if they can trust THEIR chaplain.
A sad day for the Chaplain Corps but glad justice was served.