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Published June 29, 2010, 09:54 AM

ND National Guard leader faces sex crime charge

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — A lieutenant colonel has been temporarily removed from his leadership post with the North Dakota Air National Guard after being charged with a sex crime.

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — A lieutenant colonel has been temporarily removed from his leadership post with the North Dakota Air National Guard after being charged with a sex crime.

Tom Meyer, 45, is accused of having oral sex with a 16-year-old boy he met online. Police said Meyer told authorities he thought the boy was 18 years old. Meyer did not immediately return a telephone call to The Associated Press on Tuesday seeking comment.

A written release from the North Dakota National Guard said Meyer voluntarily filed for retirement this past week.

If convicted, Meyer could permanently lose his post as medical group commander for the Fargo-based 119th Wing, said Capt. Penny Ripperger, a Guard spokeswoman. Meyer, a part-time airman, is a 27-year veteran of the unit known as the Happy Hooligans.

Meyer is due in court on July 22 on two felony charges: corruption or solicitation of minors and dissemination of obscene materials. Court records say police who executed a search warrant on Meyer's home and vehicle allege they found nude photos that Meyer and the boy had exchanged.

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