Coast Guard refers sexual assault case to court-martial

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NEW ORLEANS – A Coast Guardsman accused of rape, sexual assault and assault will face a court-martial expected to begin in early April at the Hale Boggs Federal Building, here.

The decision by Rear Adm. Kevin S. Cook, commander, 8th Coast Guard District, is based on the recommendation from an Article 32 hearing completed Oct. 22, that found reasonable grounds exist to try Petty Officer 3rd Class Joe D. Newmans, for violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice including:

  • Article 120 – Rape and Sexual Assault
  • Article 128 – Assault.

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

The charges against Newmans follow a nine-month-long Coast Guard investigation, which found evidence that Newmans, the sole member charged in this case, engaged in sexually related misconduct ranging from rape to assault involving a woman in New Orleans. It is the policy of the Coast Guard to not identify survivors of sexual assault.

Newmans is alleged to have committed the crime on Nov. 29, 2012 while at a private residence. The victim reported the crime to the Coast Guard on Nov. 30, 2012, and the Coast Guard Investigative Service immediately began an investigation.

Newmans was administratively assigned from Coast Guard Aids to Navigation Team New Orleans to Coast Guard Sector New Orleans.

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 here.

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