ALAMEDA, Calif. — A Coast Guard petty officer has been sentenced to five years in military prison and a dishonorable discharge at a general court-martial after pleading guilty to a variety of charges including abusive sexual contact, indecent acts, assault, and failure to obey orders or regulations.
Petty Officer First Class Christopher S. Molloy, 31, formerly assigned to Coast Guard Sector San Francisco, pled guilty to all counts against him at the military trial admitting to violations of several articles of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, many of which occurred in connection with his assignment as a health services technician, between 2011 and 2013.
In addition to his prison term and discharge, Molloy was reduced in rank to the lowest enlisted pay grade. He is being returned to the U.S. Naval Consolidated Brig in Miramar, California, where he has been in pre-trial confinement since Sept. 2013. Molloy will be required to register as a sex offender.
“Among the greatest strengths of the Coast Guard are our core values of honor, respect and devotion to duty,” said Lt. Anna Dixon, spokesperson for the 11th Coast Guard District. “The guilty party in this case does not represent the fine men and women of our service. The Coast Guard will not tolerate such violations of trust, and we stand ready to help and support his victims.”
The court-martial panel, the military equivalent of a jury, deliberated four hours before delivering a sentence of 15 years confinement, ten of which were suspended by the presiding judge in the case in accordance with a pre-trial agreement that included Molloy’s guilty pleas. The judge granted him credit for time served in pre-trial confinement. Should Molloy fail to comply with certain terms of the agreement or violate other conditions during confinement the suspended portion of the sentence will be vacated requiring him to serve the full 15 year term.
The court-martial proceeding, held on Coast Guard Island this week, follows an Article 32 investigation held earlier this year. The Article 32 investigation, named for the relevant article in the UCMJ, is generally compared to a preliminary hearing or grand jury process in civilian courts and is required in serious cases to determine whether enough evidence exists to send a case to trial by court-martial. Rear Adm. Karl L. Schultz, commander of the 11th Coast Guard District, was the convening authority in the case.
The UCMJ is a complete set of criminal laws that cover most crimes contained in civilian law in addition to other military-specific offenses such as failure to obey an order, desertion and dereliction of duty.