Sexual assault perpetrator gets 10 years confinement, bad conduct discharge, forfeiture of all pay, reduction to E-1

Written by Cmdr. Chris O’Neil, Public Affairs Officer, Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Military Campaign Office.

The 9th Coast Guard District announced, Sept. 24, 2013, that a petty officer third class was sentenced to 10-years confinement, a bad conduct discharge, forfeiture of all pay and allowances and reduction to the paygrade of E-1, as a result of a conviction at a court-martial in Norfolk, Va., for sexual assault and other charges.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Matthew A. Rogers, 24, an electrician’s mate with nearly seven years of service in the Coast Guard, was found guilty by a five-member jury, during a general court-martial, of two specifications of Article 120 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice for sexually assaulting a civilian woman at a hotel in Portsmouth, Va., Aug. 15, 2012, when he was assigned to the Coast Guard Cutter Alder, a 225-foot sea-going buoy tender homeported in Duluth, Minn.

Rogers was also convicted of:

• Article 134, obstruction of justice (two specifications), for lying to local law enforcement;
• Article 107, false official statements, for lying to federal investigators;
• Article 134, a general article of the UCMJ (two specifications), for illegal use of his military identification card, conduct that is prejudicial to good order and discipline, and of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces;
• Article 81, conspiracy;
• Article 134, wrongful interference with an adverse administrative proceeding, for tampering with a command-directed urinalysis at Coast Guard Sector Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., March 15, 2013.

While awaiting court-martial, Rogers served at Sector Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., and later under pretrial restraint at Coast Guard Station Marblehead, Ohio.

A bad conduct discharge is a punitive discharge that can only be given following conviction at a special or general court-martial. Unlike discharges under other than honorable conditions, there is no administrative hearing prior to discharge.

Rogers is currently serving his sentence at Navy Consolidated Brig Chesapeake, Va. Because of the length of his sentence, it is likely Rogers’ confinement at Navy Consolidated Brig Chesapeake will be assessed to determine if a transfer to a centralized, long-term corrections facility is more appropriate.

Coast Guardsman charged with wrongful sexual conduct to face court-martial

The 9th Coast Guard District also announced that convening authority Rear Adm. Fred Midgette, commander of the 9th District, decided to refer charges against a Coast Guardsman to a special court-martial.

Petty Officer 1st Class Jack A. Haltom is charged with violating Article 120 of the UCMJ, based upon a Coast Guard Investigative Service investigation into allegations that Haltom made wrongful sexual contact with a Coast Guard member.

Haltom is also charged with a violation of Article 107 for making false official statements and Article 134 for conduct prejudicial to good order and discipline and of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces.

Haltom was assigned to the Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw, homeported in Cheboygan, Mich., at the time of the alleged offense, but was reassigned to Coast Guard Sector Lake Michigan, Milwaukee, during the investigation.

Charges are accusations against the individual, and Haltom is presumed innocent.

The Coast Guard is committed to the fair and objective administration of justice, in compliance with the UCMJ.

It is Coast Guard policy to withhold the identity of survivors of sexual assault.

If you have been, or think you may have been, sexually assaulted, contact your sexual assault response coordinator, or call the Safe Helpline at 1-877-995-5247. Information about reporting options and resources for survivors of sexual assault can be found on the U.S. Coast Guard Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program website.

The 9th Coast Guard District Public Affairs staff contributed to this post.

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