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Ex-military academy leader gets 20 years
Former camp director pleads guilty to 6 felonies, 114 misdemeanors of sexual abuse

ALEXANDER CITY (AP) — A former camp director at Lyman Ward Military Academy has been sent to prison to serve a 20-year sentence for sexual abuse of boys at the school, a charge he escaped for a decade while a fugitive.

Walter Edward Myer, 68, who fled after his indictment in 1996 but was arrested in Costa Rica in 2005 with help from the Oprah Winfrey show, was sentenced under the guilty plea he entered June 18.

District Attorney E. Paul Jones said Tuesday that after Myer's formal sentencing Friday he was moved from the county jail to a state prison.

Myer pleaded guilty in Tallapoosa County circuit court prior to the start of his trial on charges accusing him of molesting cadets who ranged in age from 12 to 17.

He waived his right to appeal and was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Jones said Myer pleaded guilty to all the charges of sexual abuse of minors brought against him — six felonies and 114 misdemeanors.

Jones said the victims in the case heavily influenced the prosecution's decision to accept Myer's plea.

"They decided it was in their best interest," Jones said.

Jones said the sentence was what he expected and was not lenient.

"If he'd been a 20-year-old guy, then I would have been disappointed," he said.

Myer was indicted in 1996 after three students told authorities that he sexually molested them while on camping or weekend trips to his Lake Martin home.

Shortly before he was to go to trial, he disappeared and remained missing until Nov. 22, 2005, when he was found in Costa Rica after the Oprah Winfrey show and "America's Most Wanted" profiled him as a child predator.

The charges against Myer included producing obscene material with a minor, sodomy and sexual abuse.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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