Chaplain pleads guilty to adultery, threats

Army judge sentences Southern Baptist minister to 5 months in wild case

Associated Press, March 16, 2007

FORT DRUM, N.Y. - A 10th Mountain Division chaplain was stripped of his rank and sentenced to five months in military prison after pleading guilty to adultery and threatening to kill his mistress when she wanted to end their relationship, Fort Drum officials said Friday.

Capt. John Laua Southern Baptist minister described by the mistress as a manipulative sadist — was tried by a military judge who also ordered him dismissed from the Army with all pay and allowances forfeited.

Lau, 50, admitted he threatened to hunt down and kill Amanda Tyler, a 34-year-old British woman he met in 2004 while stationed in England, brought to the United States and "married" during a mock ceremony last year at Niagara Falls.

Lau was so cavalier about his extramarital relationship that he routinely brought both women to official Fort Drum functions and introduced Tyler as his "wife's friend," he testified during a general court-martial Thursday.

He wanted some 'spice'

"My wife and I were in a lull in our relationship and looking for something to spice up our sexual relations," the ordained Southern Baptist minister said during the proceeding.

Tyler lived at his home as his "second wife," Lau said, and took vacations with the family to Cyprus, the Caribbean and the Florida Keys. He said Tyler wanted to live with the couple indefinitely in an "exclusive relationship."

Tyler, however, told The Watertown Daily Times that Lau was a sexual sadist and expert manipulator who lured her into a relationship with promises of emotional stability and a life in the United States.

"It wasn't like I just fell in love with them and decided to be 'the second wife,'" Tyler said. "What I thought they were doing was putting me on the straight and narrow, restoring my confidence."

Lau said the three had sexual relations, which he described as consensual but which Tyler described as occurring "under duress."

"The price for objections is severe. If you object, you pay because he's 'The Master,'" she told the newspaper.

At one point, Tyler said, Lau said she should become a prostitute to help pay her tuition.

Action taken while he was in Iraq
Asked why she didn't report her situation to military or civilian authorities, Tyler said she was "petrified."

In September, while Lau was deployed in Iraq, Tyler informed the family that she planned to move out.

Lau responded by sending three e-mails threatening to kill Tyler.

Lau was sentenced to 14 months in military prison. But under the terms of his plea agreement he will serve only five months.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press.