The Navy tapped a jailed sex offender to be a department head

Lt. j.g. Michael D. McNeil (Photo courtesy Clay County Sheriff's Office)

A young officer currently caught up in a child sex scandal was selected to be a department head, according to the US Navy.

Lieutenant Junior Grade Michael D. McNeil, a junior surface warfare officer assigned to the USS Lassen, was sentenced to 10 years in March after being convicted for attempted online enticement of a minor.

According to the Navy Times, McNeil initiated contact with undercover law enforcement, believing he was speaking to the relative of a deaf minor.

“She’s deaf,” the detective told McNeil. “And I haven’t learned sign language.”

“Lol, its just you and her?” McNeil replied.

“yeah, (sic) just us,” the detective said.

“Lucky guy ;),” McNeil said.

The two exchanged hundreds of texts over 24 hours, and McNeil even sent explicit photos of himself.

After being caught in a sting by detectives, McNeil knew his life was over.

“I’m just…(expletive) up,” McNeil said. “I’m a (expletive) idiot. I have a perfect life, perfect wife, perfect kid…curiosity got to me and…I (expletive) up. (Expletive) stupid. And now, you know, I could lose everything.”

The Navy claims that McNeil was tapped for his position -and the promotion was made public- before news of the arrest could reach proper channels.

As part of his plea deal, the junior officer waived his right to a Navy board of inquiry and will receive an “other than honorable” discharge.

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