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Court-martial begins for Coast Guardsman accused of sexual assault

Posted: August 27, 2012 - 10:02pm

A military trial began Monday for an Anchorage-based U.S. Coast Guardsman accused of sexually assaulting another Coast Guard member.

Eight Coast Guard members were selected to be jurors — five officers and three enlisted — during the initial court-martial proceedings in the U.S. Federal Building in Juneau, where District 17 is headquartered. Four of the jurors are women, and four are men.

Fireman Roque E. Trevino, an E-3 who works in the engineering department for Coast Guard Sector Anchorage, is charged with one crime with three specifications for aggravated sexual assault and sexual contact, all related to the same instance. Those are offenses under Article 120 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, according to charging documents.

Prosecutors say Trevino sexually assaulted a female seaman when she was “substantially incapacitated” by alcohol. The alleged offense took place in, or near, Valdez in January 2011.

If convicted, Trevino could be dishonorably discharged and ordered to serve a lengthy sentence in military prison.

The court-martial was convened by Rear Admiral Thomas P. Ostebo, the commander of District 17. The presiding military judge is Captain Michael E. Tousley. Tousley is based out of Arlington, Va., and is the chief trial judge for the Coast Guard.

The final eight jurors, or panelists, were picked from a pool of 10 Coast Guard members stationed in Juneau. The minimum number of panelists allowed for a court-martial is five.

More than 10 witnesses will be called by both the prosecution and defense teams throughout the trial, according to a witness list read aloud Monday. The trial is expected to last until Friday or Saturday. Opening arguments will begin Tuesday morning.

• Contact reporter Emily Russo Miller at 523-2263 or at emily.miller@juneauempire.com.

Editor’s note: This story has been changed to reflect the correct number of officers and enlisted members of the court-martial. A correction ran on page A2 of the newspaper on Aug. 30.

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