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CGA to decide whether to proceed with court-martial for cadet accused of sexual assault

By Jennifer McDermott

Publication: theday.com

Published March 27. 2014 12:00PM   Updated March 27. 2014 12:06PM

New London — The U.S. Coast Guard Academy will hold a hearing Wednesday to determine whether there is enough evidence to warrant a general court-martial for a cadet who is accused of breaking into a dorm room and sexually abusing another cadet.

The alleged incident occurred in mid-September in the Chase Hall barracks. Rear Adm. Sandra L. Stosz, the academy superintendent, decided to proceed with an Article 32 investigation.

As part of the investigation, an investigating officer is holding the hearing at the academy, which is roughly equivalent to grand jury proceedings in the civilian judicial system. The hearing is open to the public.

The accused cadet is suspected of violating Articles 120, 130 and 134 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, the military’s criminal code, which prohibit abusive sexual contact, housebreaking and unlawful entry.

“These charges are accusations against the cadet, who is presumed innocent unless and until found guilty by a court martial. The Coast Guard is committed to providing all needed support to the victim, and to ensuring a full and fair proceeding in compliance with the Uniform Code of Military Justice,” Capt. Eric C. Jones, the assistant superintendent, said in a statement.

The hearing will lead to a recommendation for the case disposition, and not a verdict.  

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