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Navy Helicopter Squadron Commander Charged with Attempted Rape

WASHINGTON – The commander of a Guam-based Navy helicopter squadron was arrested Monday in San Diego on charges of attempted rape and assault, according to records from the city sheriff's department.

Cmdr. John M. Neuhart II, the commander of Andersen Air Force Base's Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 25, was arrested by the San Diego police, a Navy spokeswoman confirmed Tuesday morning.

The Navy was "fully cooperating" with the investigation and the Naval Criminal Investigation Service was notified of the incident, said Lt. Leslie Hubbell, a spokeswoman for Naval Air Forces Pacific.

"Any allegations of criminal misconduct, including allegations of sexual assault, are taken seriously and thoroughly investigated," Hubbell said, adding any further Navy comment on the incident "would be inappropriate" while the investigation remains open.

The executive officer of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 25, Navy Cmdr. William G. Eastham, has been named acting commander until a new permanent squadron commander is appointed, Hubbell said.

Neuhart, 39, was booked into jail about 3:30 p.m. PST after his arrest, according to the jail records. He was released about 5 a.m. Tuesday after posting a $100,000 bond and is expected to make an initial court appearance Sept. 19, according to the records.

Additional information about Neuhart's alleged crimes or a police report about the incident were not available Tuesday.

Neuhart, whose call sign is "Spike," has commanded the squadron since July.

He was commissioned into the Navy through the ROTC program at Ohio State University upon graduation in 2000 and has flown SH-60F Seahawk, HH-60H Pave Hawk and MH-60S Seahawk helicopters, according to his official Navy biography.

He has flown more than 2,100 hours including 36 combat missions over Iraq. His awards including the Strike Flight Air Medal and four Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals.

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