John Ryan Melogy is an Academy alum who is supposedly on a crusade against SASH in the maritime industry but it seems that his agenda is more of a vendetta against his alma mater and others that he perceives have slighted him or question his motives. He wasn’t a victim of SASH while a midshipman but claims to have been bullied in a sexual manner while sailing as a second mate in late 2014 and early 2015.
Eliminating SASH is a goal we both share. But our similarities stop there. I have received multiple reports, including from women merchant mariners, that Melogy is ever so solicitous of them until they express disagreement with him. The overall tenor of the reports is that it’s either agree with the Melogy-way or you will find yourself a victim of his scorched-earth-highway. Melogy has posted statements such as “The worst enemies of women in this industry are other women. Fact.” He has discouraged reporting of SASH by stating “It’s sad and corrupt and pathetic that the so-called women leaders in the maritime industry continue to tell women to report things to their Captain, company, DPO, blah, blah, blah” because, in his opinion, “The system is corrupt and these reports go nowhere and there is no accountability.” But he has reportedly outed people who made SASH reports but wished to remain anonymous.
Most of what I have heard about Melogy involve reports that he threatened people with lawsuits (including for “revenge”) or bullied them over social media. Others have noticed this too. Seemingly consistent with these reports, Melogy is charged in Maryland (link is to police report) with criminal misdemeanor counts of harassment and harassment using electronic communications and is scheduled for trial on May 16, 2022. (Criminal charges are not evidence of guilt and a defendant is presumed innocent until found guilty.) The harassment charge is based upon MD. Criminal Law Code Ann. § 3-803 (2020) which provides:
(a) Prohibited.- A person may not follow another in or about a public place or maliciously engage in a course of conduct that alarms or seriously annoys the other:
(1) with the intent to harass, alarm, or annoy the other;
(2) after receiving a reasonable warning or request to stop by or on behalf of the other; and
(3) without a legal purpose.
(b) Exception.- This section does not apply to a peaceable activity intended to express a political view or provide information to others.
(c) Penalty.- A person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 90 days or a fine not exceeding $500 or both.
The electronic harassment charge is based upon MD. Criminal Law Code Ann. § 3-805 (2020), which provides:
(b) (1) A person may not maliciously engage in a course of conduct, through the use of electronic communication, that alarms or seriously annoys another:
(i) with the intent to harass, alarm, or annoy the other;
(ii) after receiving a reasonable warning or request to stop by or on behalf of the other; and
(iii) without a legal purpose.
A person who is convicted of violating subsection (b)(1), is guilty of a misdemeanor and subject to imprisonment not exceeding 3 years or a fine not exceeding $10,000 or both.
The case is pending in the District Court For Anne Arundel County under case number D-07-CR-21-008035.
So, I have questions. I’m encouraging people to tell me about their experiences with Melogy — good or bad. Some of my questions:
- Have you had any experience with Melogy?
- Has Melogy threatened to sue you if you didn’t take action he wanted you to take?
- Has Melogy threatened to “dox you” (identify you publicly) because you didn’t take action he wanted you to take?
- Has Melogy, an attorney living in Florida but admitted only to the New York bar (and maintaining an “office” at a shared workspace located at 276 Fifth Ave., Suite 704, New York, NY 10001), ever filed a lawsuit on behalf of mariner victim of SASH? I’ve searched the federal judicial case database (PACER), where most maritime law cases get filed, and find no evidence that Melogy has ever appeared as an attorney in any admiralty or maritime case. (Last month, Melogy filed what I believe to be his first, and only, federal case ever and, while it is filed against a shipping company, it is based upon SASH in the office setting, not aboard a vessel, and does not assert that admiralty jurisdiction exists.) I have searched the civil courts of New York State and find no record of him ever having appeared as an attorney in a case in New York.
- Is Melogy violating the rules of ethics applicable to New York attorneys (specifically Rule 7.4 of the New York Rules of Professional Conduct) by holding himself out as “specializing in the representation of mariners who have been the victims of shipboard harassment, sexual harassment, and sexual assault“? Rule 7.4(a) prohibits a lawyer from stating that he specializes in a particular field of law unless certified as a specialist by certain organizations. I can find no evidence that Melogy is certified in any area of maritime law or in the representation of victims of SASH.
- Have you been bullied or threatened by Melogy over social media (or otherwise)?
- When Melogy solicits people to report SASH in the maritime industry to him or his non-profit organization, “Maritime Legal Aid & Advocacy, LTD,” does he bully them if they don’t do what he wants them to do after he hears their story?
- Have you ever made a donation to Maritime Legal Aid & Advocacy, LTD? If so, do you know how the money was used?
- Who are the officers and directors of Maritime Legal Aid & Advocacy, LTD? How does this IRS 501(c)(3) organization spend its money? Where does that money come from?
- Is Melogy’s hatred of the Academy due to some other event not even remotely connected to SASH? (I’ve heard rumors . . .)
If you can help shed light on these questions or anything else about Melogy — good or bad — you can do so in complete confidence using the confidential tips link in the header or by email to the address shown on the confidential tips page. All submissions will be held in confidence and anything posted using a tip will be anonymized. (If you have concerns about confidentiality, email me your concerns and I will respond.)
UPDATE: I’m not going to approve comments on this post. I will use information submitted in the form of a comment that helps answer my questions about Melogy if I am able to confirm it. I am receiving a number of comments that express a general opinion about Melogy. I’ve always been careful with this blog to make sure that what gets posted is accurate and verified. That’s one of the key differences between Melogy’s social media posts and this blog. (For example, Melogy is currently making claims that VADM Buono was fired by MARAD and that it was due to pressure from Congress. I have verified from my sources that neither claim is true: VADM Buono had informed MARAD/DOT in January of his intent to announce his retirement effective when the Class of 2022 graduates in June. He was asked to delay the announcement and he did so.) Thus, I’ll post verifiable information about Melogy but will refrain from allowing the comments to become a bulletin board for people to post their opinions about him.