MILWAUKEE (AP) — A U.S. Coast Guard officer will face a military hearing on allegations that he had abusive sexual contact with a female colleague while stationed in Milwaukee, the Coast Guard said Tuesday.
The case of Petty Officer 3rd Class Joshua M. Raymond has been referred to an Article 32 hearing, which is similar to a civilian grand jury hearing, said Coast Guard spokesman Christopher Yaw. The outcome could range from having the charges dropped to initiating court-martial proceedings, he said.
The hearing likely will be held in June in Milwaukee, Yaw said.
Raymond, a 30-year-old from Deerfield, was an operations specialist at the Lake Michigan facility in Milwaukee. He is accused of having improper sexual contact with a fellow service member during a party in the Milwaukee suburb of Wauwatosa on Nov. 27, according to a Coast Guard news release.
The statement doesn’t describe the alleged contact but says the man is also accused of attempted sexual assault and making false statements during the investigation.
Raymond’s defense attorney, Grover Baxley, said his client intends to plead not guilty to all charges against him.
Baxley also said he was troubled that the Coast Guard sent out a news release identifying Raymond by name at such an early stage in the process. He suggested the move raises the possibility that military officials exerted improper influence.
“The Coast Guard’s decision to broadcast these allegations publicly even before a preliminary evidentiary hearing calls into question whether my client can receive fair consideration of his case within this particular chain of command,” Baxley said in an email. “I look forward to learning of the Coast Guard’s legitimate rationale for seeking out publicity for this case.”
Raymond was transferred to Station Grand Haven, Mich., after the investigation. A message left for him there was not immediately returned.