Because he committed adultery and carried on an “unduly familiar” personal and sexual relationship with a junior sailor assigned to his command, a Navy chief lost his anchors last week, according to military officials and legal filings.
On Thursday, a military judge busted Chief Yeoman Timothy P. Vaughn down to E-5 and sentenced him to 60 days behind bars, Navy Region Northwest spokesman Joe Kubistek said.
Assigned to Naval Station Everett in the state of Washington, Vaughn, 37, pleaded guilty to two specifications of adultery tied to separate incidents last year, plus violating the Navy’s fraternization policy, he added.
It was a steep fall for a sailor lauded by the military as an inspirational figure when he competed on the Navy’s team of sick, injured and wounded athletes at the 2018 Department of Defense Warrior Games at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Vaughn appeared in stories and videos detailing his road to recovery after surviving an unprovoked 2012 attempt on his life at Vic’s Barbershop in Imperial Beach, when Daniel Roberto Flores slashed his throat twice with a straight razor.
But in April 2018, shortly before the Warrior Games limelight fell on him, he was in Port Hueneme, California, engaging in sexual intercourse with a female sailor who was not his wife, according to his charge sheets.
He also had intercourse with a married woman “on board Naval Station Everett” on Oct. 13, 2018, while serving as command duty officer, prosecutors wrote.
And he violated the Navy’s fraternization policy for having “unduly familiar” personal and sexual relationships with a junior sailor, according to charge sheets.
It’s unclear whether his liaisons involved one or more persons because identities are redacted in the legal records military officials provided to Navy Times.
Prosecutors also charged the California native with making a false official statement about inappropriate communications with junior sailors but that specification was withdrawn as part of his plea deal, Kubistek said.
Kubistek told Navy Times that Vaughn will serve his sentence at the Joint Regional Confinement Facility at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
Attempts by Navy Times to reach him before he entered the brig were unsuccessful. He didn’t return calls placed to telephone numbers listed in his name.
Other lines were disconnected or had restricted messaging options and his military attorney did not respond to a request for comment submitted through Navy Region Northwest.
Vaughn enlisted in 1999, according to his service records.
At sea, he served on board the guided-missile destroyer Spruance.
Ashore, he did a tour in Afghanistan and also was assigned to Test and Evaluation Squadron 9 in China Lake, California; and Electronic Attack Squadron 140 and Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron 1 in Whidbey Island, Washington.
He arrived at Naval Station Everett in March 2016 and was selected for chief three months later.
Geoff is a senior staff reporter for Military Times, focusing on the Navy. He covered Iraq and Afghanistan extensively and was most recently a reporter at the Chicago Tribune. He welcomes any and all kinds of tips at firstname.lastname@example.org.