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Former Men at Work Guitarist Jailed

May 24, 1998

LIVINGSTON, Mont. (AP) _ Former Men at Work band member Ron Strykert was jailed for being a deadbeat dad.

The lead guitarist for the Australian rock ‘n’ roll group who left the band to join a New Age church that frowns on rock music was jailed for 24 hours on contempt charges for failing to make child support payments and a property settlement to his ex-wife.

District Judge Nels Swandal said Strykert has earned $26,000 in royalties this year.

``A big royalty payment came in and your (current) wife spent it,″ Swandal said. ``That doesn’t fly.″

The ex-wife, Janka Thomas, is owed $38,000 in a property settlement, and at least $8,000 in overdue child support.

Strykert testified he will mortgage his $250,000 house to pay what he owes.

Strykert is a member of the Church Universal and Triumphant, founded by Elizabeth Clare Prophet, and lives in Corwin Springs, a housing development established by the New Age sect where rock music was banned for years.

Ms. Thomas resides in Australia, and lives with their two children on welfare, her lawyers said.

Men at Work had hits in the 1980s including ``Down Under.″ He left the band in 1990 when he joined the church and moved to Montana, his ex-wife says.

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