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Lieutenant colonel loses post pending sex case outcome

A 45-year-old Fargo man accused of having oral sex with a teenage boy he met online is a lieutenant colonel in the North Dakota Air National Guard, a position he's been removed from on a temporary basis.

Lt. Col. Tom Meyer of the 119th Wing of the North Dakota Air National Guard has been removed from his leadership post pending the outcome of the case, said Capt. Penny Ripperger.

Ripperger said Meyer is medical group commander for the Fargo-based unit, also known as the Happy Hooligans. Meyer is a part-time airman and won't be paid if he misses a weekend drill while he's removed, she said.

Meyer faces two felony charges in Cass County District Court: corruption or solicitation of minors and dissemination of obscene materials.

A 16-year-old told a Fargo counselor that he had met Meyer on an Internet site and ended up seeing him in person three times, court records show. According to police reports included in charging documents, the 16-year-old said they had oral sex one of the times they met in person.

Police executed a search warrant on Meyer's home and vehicle and allege they found naked photos that he and the boy had exchanged, according to court records.

Meyer told police he did not recall the boy saying he was 16 years old, claiming instead that he thought the teenager was 18 years old, according to police.

A phone message left for Meyer was not returned on Monday. His attorney was out of town and couldn't be reached for comment.

If Meyer is convicted or pleads guilty, the 27-year veteran of the Happy Hooligans could permanently lose his post in the 119th, Ripperger said.

Meyer's next court date is set for July 22.