Coast Guard refers sexual assault case to court-martial

5th Coast Guard District News
PORTSMOUTH, Va. — A Coast Guard senior chief petty officer accused of assault consummated by a battery, aggravated sexual assault, abusive sexual contact and failure to obey order or regulation will face a general court-martial expected to begin on Feb. 23, 2015 in Norfolk.

The decision by Vice Adm. William Lee, Coast Guard Atlantic Area commander, is based on the recommendation of an Article 32 hearing completed on June 1, that reasonable grounds exist to try Senior Chief Petty Officer James R. Hamilton, 33, for violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice including:

  • Article 80 – Attempts – abusive sexual contact
  • Article 92 – Failure to obey order or regulation
  • Article 120 – Aggravated sexual contact
  • Article 128 – Assault; assault consummated by a battery

The charges follow an investigation, which revealed that Hamilton was engaged in a broad spectrum of sexually related misconduct from inappropriate touching to aggravated sexual contact while assigned to Coast Guard Cutter Northland home ported in Portsmouth.

Hamilton has transferred from Northland.

The Article 32 Hearing is similar to a grand jury hearing in the civilian court system.

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.

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