A U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer accused of rape, sexual assault, cruelty and maltreatment, making a false official statement and failure to obey a lawful order will face a court-martial expected to begin in September in Charleston, S.C.
The decision by Vice Adm. Robert C. Parker, Atlantic Area Commander, is based on the recommendation of an Article 32 hearing completed May 22, 2013, that reasonable grounds exist to try Petty Officer 2nd Class Omar Gomez, 35.
The charges follow a six-month-long Coast Guard investigation which revealed that Gomez, the sole member charged in this case, engaged in a broad spectrum of sexually related misconduct ranging from rape to inappropriate comments, involving two civilians and six Coast Guard women. The charge stemming from the 2006 allegation of rape of one of the civilian victims is not expected to move forward due to the decision by the victim not to participate in further legal proceedings.
The investigation began immediately after a sexual assault aboard the Gallatin was reported Sept. 16, 2012. The crimes allegedly occurred in May 2006 while he was stationed aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star in Seattle and between August 2011 and September 2012 while aboard the Gallatin. Locations of the crimes ranged from the Seattle area, Honduras, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and Charleston, South Carolina.
Gomez has been administratively assigned off of Gallatin to another unit in South Carolina.