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thedrifter
11-10-07, 06:52 AM
Doctor guilty of taping mids gets 46 months
By Stephen Manning - The Associated Press
Posted : Friday Nov 9, 2007 17:04:20 EST

A Navy jury Friday sentenced a Navy doctor to 46 months in the brig for using a hidden camera to videotape Naval Academy midshipmen engaged in sex acts in his home.

The jury of six Navy captains deliberated for six hours over two days before finding Cmdr. Kevin Ronan guilty of seven counts of conduct unbecoming an officer, three counts of illegal wiretapping and one count of obstruction of justice.

The jury deliberated for almost four more hours before sentencing Ronan to time in the brig and dismissal from the service.

Ronan, 41, stood at attention and showed no visible reaction as the verdict was read at the Washington Navy Yard.

Navy prosecutors alleged Ronan used a camera hidden in an air purifier to tape the male midshipmen having sex with girlfriends or masturbating while they stayed in guest bedrooms at his home in Annapolis, Md. They were there as part of an academy program that places students in private homes during their free time.

Ronan testified this week that he bought the device to make sure the students didn’t throw parties while he wasn’t home. He said he tested it once but later used it only to clean the air in the spare bedrooms, not for taping.

Prosecutors said Ronan began using the device for taping as early as May 2006. Two men, one a midshipman, the other a former student, found the recordings in January and turned them over to authorities.

Predictions about Ronan’s possible sentence ranged from no formal punishment to more than 27 years in the brig.

His father, Frank Ronan, said he was “sick, devastated and blown away” by the verdict. “We did not expect this,” he said.

Ronan is a pediatrician assigned to the Navy’s Bureau of Medicine and Surgery in Washington. From 2002 to 2006, he ran a clinic at the Naval Academy in Annapolis and was a doctor for several Navy sports teams.

During the trial, Ronan’s lawyer alleged that the men who claimed to have found the tapes actually made them in a plot to extort money. William Ferris highlighted the checkered records of both, saying the former midshipman was expelled from the academy for poor grades and later tried to forge his official transcript.

Ellie