FORT RICHARDSON, Alaska -- Army Chaplain Anthony Longval Jr. pleaded guilty Thursday to hypnotizing and taking sexual liberties with women who came to him for counseling.
Longval, a lieutenant colonel, pleaded guilty during a general court martial to 14 charges in exchange for the government dropping seven others.
Longval, 53, faces a maximum penalty of 56 years in prison, dismissal from the Army, forfeiture of all pay and allowances and a fine.
The chaplain admitted that he hypnotized four women who came to him for counseling at his office on the Fort Richardson Army post near Anchorage and fondled them while they were in a trance. He admitted having intercourse with two of the women.
A 19-year career officer, Longval worked as marriage counselor for the Fort Richardson community.
The women were described as having various family problems and one was characterized as suffering from depressive neurosis.
Longval said he normally used hypnosis 'to get people to stop smoking and not eat so much.' He said he learned to employ hypnosis from books and by taking a workshop.
In one case, Longval said a 'very agitated woman' came to his office for counseling and he said he suggested hypnosis to help her relax.
'I told her whatever problems she had would fall away,' he said.
Longval has been in custody since his arrest in October. His wife sat in the first row of the military courtroom and held her husband's hand during court recesses.