PORTSMOUTH, Va. — A Coast Guardsman accused of sexual assault and other criminal acts will face a court-martial, scheduled to begin Monday at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Charleston, S.C.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Omar Gomez, 35, is charged with Article 120 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice for allegedly engaging in a broad spectrum of sexually related misconduct ranging from rape to inappropriate comments, involving two civilians and six Coast Guard women.
In addition to the sexual assault charge, Gomez is charged with:
- Article 92 – Failure to obey a lawful order and regulation
- Article 93 – Cruelty and Maltreatment
- Article 107 – False official statement
- Article 134 – General Articles (offenses not specifically covered in any other article of the UCMJ)
The investigation began immediately after a sexual assault aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Gallatin was reported Sept. 16, 2012. The crimes allegedly occurred in May 2006 while he was stationed aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star in Seattle and between August 2011 and September 2012 while aboard the Gallatin. Locations of the crimes include the Seattle area, Honduras, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and Charleston, S.C.
Vice Adm. Robert C. Parker, Atlantic Area Commander and the court-martial convening authority, decided to refer the case to a general court-martial. The decision was made after an investigation by the Coast Guard Investigative Service, a pretrial investigation under Article 32, UCMJ, and Article 34 pre-trial legal advice from the Atlantic Area staff judge advocate.
Gomez was formerly assigned to Gallatin and has been administratively assigned to another unit in South Carolina.
Charges are accusations against the individual, and the accused is presumed innocent. The Coast Guard is committed to a fair proceeding in compliance with the UCMJ. It is Coast Guard policy to withhold the identity of sexual assault victims.
The Coast Guard will share the results of the court-martial following these proceedings, which are open to the public. The court-martial will take place at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center; Charleston, S.C.
The Uniform Code of Military Justice is a complete set of criminal laws that covers most crimes contained in civilian law in addition to other military-specific offenses such as failure to obey an order, desertion, etc.
Additional information about the UCMJ and the military justice system can be found at: http://www.uscg.mil/legal/mj/MJ_Doc/UCMJ12.pdf.