You will be redirected to the page you want to view in  seconds.

C. Guard petty officer to face court-martial in sex assault case

Dec. 26, 2013 - 06:00AM   |  
  • Filed Under

NEW ORLEANS — A New Orleans-based Coast Guard petty officer accused of sexually assaulting a Coast Guardswoman will face a court-martial in federal court next year.

The Coast Guard said Thursday that the charges against Petty Officer 3rd Class Joe D. Newmans stem from an Nov. 29, 2012, incident, in which he allegedly raped a female colleague inside a New Orleans residence. The victim, whose identity has not been released, reported the incident to the Coast Guard the following day, and Newmans was administratively reassigned.

Newmans has been a petty officer in the Coast Guard for four years and is currently assigned to the Coast Guard Sector New Orleans, according to spokeswoman Lt. Lily Zepeda.

The Times-Picayune reports the Coast Guard conducted a nine-month investigation into the allegations. Rear Adm. Kevin S. Cook, commander of the Coast Guard’s 8th District, recommended a court-martial after an Oct. 22 Article 32 hearing — the military equivalent of a grand jury proceeding.

According to a news release, Cook determined there were “reasonable grounds” to try Newmans on rape and sexual assault charges stemming from violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

“Sexual assault is a crime, and we have no place for it in the Coast Guard,” Zepeda said. “We take every allegation seriously and we do a thorough investigation to make sure that we have a positive command climate to allow our people to thrive.”

The Coast Guard conducted a nine-month investigation into the allegations against Newmans.

Newmans’ court-martial is scheduled for April. He could not be reached for comment.

The case comes as the military has seen an increase in instances of sexual abuse. Reported abuses went up by six percent between 2011 and 2012 — 3,374 reports of sexual abuse in 2012 compared to 3,192 in 2011 — according to recently released statistics from the U.S. Department of Defense.

On Thursday, President Obama signed a defense authorization bill barring military commanders from overturning jury convictions or reducing sentences, and imposing stricter policies on perpetrators of sexual crimes. Additionally, the bill includes expanded legal services and resources for victims of sexual abuse.

Last week, Obama ordered a review of the Pentagon’s efforts to curb sexual assault in the military “and hold perpetrators accountable for their crimes, as appropriate under the military justice system.”

Lt. Paul Rhynard, a Washington, D.C.-based Coast Guard spokesman, said sexual assault is a problem the Coast Guard is working hard to mitigate.

“In recent months and recent years, we’ve recognized that there’s a real issue,” Rhinard said. “Sexual assault doesn’t align with our values. It’s not acceptable, so you’re seeing a lot more aggressive action being taken toward those situations.”

Answers by RallyPoint

Join trending discussions in the military's #1 professional community. See what members like yourself have to say from across the DoD.

More In News

Start your day with a roundup of top defense news.

VA Home Loan

Search By:

Product Options:
Zip Code:

News for your in-box

Sign up now for free Military Times E-Reports. Choose from Money and Education. Subscribers: log in for premium e-newsletters.

This Week's Army Times

This Week's Army Times

CrossFit vs. unit PT
Troops will do the training plans in a $2.5 million study

Subscribe for Print or Digital delivery today!

MilitaryTimes Green Trusted Classifieds Looking to buy, sell and connect on Military Times?
Browse expanded listings across hundreds of military installations.
Faces of valorHonoring those who fought and died in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
hall of valorThe Hall of Valor is a searchable database of valor award citations collected by Doug Sterner, a Vietnam veteran and Military Times contributing editor, and by Military Times staff.

All you need to know about your military benefits.

Benefits handbook

Guard & Reserve All you need to know about the Guard & Reserve.

guard and reserve handbook