A Coast Guardsman accused of sexual assault and abusive sexual contact will face a general court-martial expected to begin on Jan. 20, 2015 in Norfolk.

The decision by Vice Adm. William Lee, Coast Guard Atlantic Area commander, is based on the recommendation of an Article 32 hearing held on October 2. The investigating officer found that reasonable grounds exist to try Seaman Luis Escobosa, for violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice including:

–          Article 120 – Sexual Assault and Abusive Sexual Contact

The charges follow a four-month long investigation revealing that Escobosa had committed a sexual act upon the victim without consent while in Baltimore on or about October 2013. The Coast Guard Investigative Service completed the investigation, which included interviews of witnesses who have since transferred from the area.

Escobosa was assigned to the Cutter Eagle when the alleged misconduct occurred. He has since been transferred to the Coast Guard Yard in Baltimore.

The Article 32 Hearing is similar to a grand jury hearing in the civilian court system.

The Uniform Code of Military Justice is a complete set of criminal laws that covers most crimes contained in civilian law in addition to other military-specific offe such as failure to obey an order, desertion, etc. Additional information about the UCMJ and the military justice system can be found at: http://www.uscg.mil/legal/mj/MJ_Doc/UCMJ12.pdf.