Coast Guardsman sentenced to seven years confinement for sexual assault

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ALAMEDA, Calif. – A Coast Guardsman was sentenced to seven years confinement for sexual assault and other violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice at a general court-martial aboard Coast Guard Base Alameda Friday.

Seaman Koda M. Harpole was sentenced to seven years confinement, a dishonorable discharge, and reduction to the rate of E-1 for sexual assault, housebreaking and making a false official statement. Harpole was stationed aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star from Seattle when he committed the violations. During a port of call in Pape’ete, Tahiti, Feb. 27, 2014, Harpole entered the victim’s berthing area aboard the Polar Star without permission. He then sexually assaulted the victim while she slept.

The victim reported the sexual assault to a victim advocate aboard Polar Star hours after the vessel left Pape’ete Feb. 27, 2014. The victim advocate immediately notified the cutter’s medical officer for treatment. After learning of the assault, the cutter’s command returned Polar Star to Pape’ete Feb. 27 where the victim was transported to the United States for advanced treatment and to speak to Coast Guard investigators. Harpole was reassigned to Coast Guard Base Seattle pending the outcome of the investigation.

The U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service led the investigation. Attorneys from Coast Guard Legal Service Command in Alameda prosecuted the case.

Harpole will serve his sentence at U.S. Naval Consolidated Brig Miramar, Calif.

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