Academy chaplain suspended after sex offense allegation Police investigate report minister exposed himself

September 07, 1996|By JoAnna Daemmrich | JoAnna Daemmrich,SUN STAFF

A chaplain at the U.S. Naval Academy has been placed on leave while allegations he exposed himself at a Value City department store on the outskirts of Annapolis are investigated.

A man identified as Lt. Cmdr. Peter Tokar Jr. was videotaped by a store surveillance system as he allegedly exposed himself to several young girls about 12: 20 p.m. Saturday, according to law enforcement officials.

Tokar, a Protestant minister, has been serving as a chaplain at the academy since early this summer. He taught Bible seminars on Wednesday nights and participated in weekly services at the historic chapel.

L Reached at home last night, Tokar said, "I have no comment."

A security guard monitoring shoppers at Value City, on Old Solomons Island Road in Parole, noticed a man behaving suspiciously while shopping Saturday afternoon and kept the camera trained on him, police and Navy sources said. The guard then notified Annapolis police.

Annapolis police released a brief report yesterday stating that the security officer had observed a man "exposing himself to young children in the store" and referred questions to the academy.

Capt. Tom Jurkowsky, an academy spokesman, confirmed that an employee was placed on paid leave over the weekend as police began investigating the incident.

"There is an investigation into the possibility that an employee assigned to the Naval Academy was involved in an incident in the civilian community," Jurkowsky said. "The individual in question is on leave status, and we're not identifying him because he has not been charged with anything."

News of the investigation came as another blow for the academy -- on the same day as a freshman female midshipman was arrested in a Texas slaying -- after months of bad news with students accused of using LSD, sexual assault, child abuse and running a car-theft ring.

Tokar has served as a chaplain at the academy in the past, said a Navy officer who knows him.

Pub Date: 9/07/96

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