Coast Guardsman Sentenced to Eight Years of Confinement in Sexual Assault Case
A petty officer in the U.S. Coast Guard was recently convicted of five charges regarding sexual assault and other unlawful acts and sentenced to eight years of confinement, a reduction in pay grade, and a dishonorable discharge.
Between 2011 and 2012, the petty officer was the supervisor of a deck-maintenance crew of 30 people onboard the Coast Guard Cutter Gallatin, where he allegedly engaged in several acts of sexual misconduct with six female shipmates under his command and the rape of one civilian woman.
The petty officer was convicted of all the charges brought against him, including:
- Failure to obey a lawful order and regulation
- False official statement
- Cruelty and maltreatment
The case was tried in a general court-martial, which is the highest court in the military and the only one with the authority to pass the maximum penalty of death. Often characterized as a felony court, an accused may be tried by no less than five members and a military judge, or by the military judge alone.
Upon hearing the guilty verdict, the petty officer pleaded for a sentence that would allow him to stay in the military. However, the six Coast Guard officers did not alter the sentence that would leave him with the lifetime stigma as a sex offender.
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