District of Colombia readers may wish to note that a Coast Guard petty officer has recently been convicted after facing charges for sexual assault. These charges stem from incidents where the man supposedly filmed and recorded women as they were having medical tests performed. In addition to sexual assault, he was also convicted of tricking women into having medical tests done that were not necessary. The women affected by these actions included military personnel and civilians.
The petty officer admitted to these crimes when he entered a guilty plea for the charges. As part of an agreement with the prosecution, he will only have to serve five of the 15 years to which he was sentenced. These sexual assault incidents took place while he was stationed on Yerba Buena Island.
The man was employed as a medical technician, but he was able to convince several women to submit to medical tests that he was supposedly not qualified to perform. During these tests, which included an EKG and injections, he photographed and recorded inappropriate images. He was caught when his girlfriend found pictures on his camera and several of the women came forward to speak out about the incidents.
When facing charges such as sexual assault, a defendant has the right to pursue the best possible outcome. In this case, it appears that the pretrial agreement was able to secure minimal jail time for the petty officer in exchange for the guilty plea. The optimal path for each District of Columbia individual will depend upon the details that are unique to each case. Because every situation is different, it is best to carefully evaluate all case details before making any major decisions.
Source: SFGate, "Coast Guard petty officer convicted of sex crimes", Vivian Ho, May 18, 2014