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Author Topic: Coast Guard News  (Read 259925 times)
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BuoyJumper
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« Reply #30 on: May 06, 2008, 05:13:29 pm »



Cape May sailor testifies to being sexually
assaulted by U.S. Coast Guard superior

By RICHARD DEGENER Staff Writer
Published: Friday, May 02, 2008

CAPE MAY - A sailor at Coast Guard Station Cape May on Thursday testified that he got drunk with his former company commander, passed out and woke up to find his one-time mentor sexually assaulting him.
The testimony came during a military hearing, called an Article 32 Investigation, exploring charges against Petty Officer 1st Class Wilson Medina. The Coast Guard does not normally open up its legal processes to the media, but decided to do so in this case.

Medina, 36, a 13-year Coast Guard veteran, is accused of forcible sodomy and abusive sexual contact against his former boot camp recruit, a 23-year-old man whose identity is being withheld by the media.


Special investigator to the Coast Guard William Lowe (right) and government
council for the victim Lt. Ben Gullo, exit the hearing. An article 32 hearing, similar
to a public grand jury hearing, was held at the U.S. Coast Guard Training Center
Cape May, to determine if court martial proceedings should be brought against one
of it's company commanders, Wilson Medina. Medina is accused of abusive sexual
contact with another member of the coast guard. Thursday May 01, 2008.


The former recruit testified that Medina initially made a pass at him while he was awake, grabbing his private parts, and later, after passing out from a night of heavy drinking, he awoke to find his pants had been pulled down and Medina was performing oral sex on him.

Medina declined to take the stand at the hearing at Training Center Cape May before Lt. Cmdr. Russell E. Bowman, the investigating officer in the case. An Article 32 hearing is similar to a grand jury proceeding, but instead of jurors hearing the evidence, the investigating officer hears it.

Bowman will make a recommendation to the commander of the base, Capt. Sandra Stosz, which can range from dismissing the charges to implementing a court martial. Stosz decides how to proceed and can reject Bowman's recommendations.  Medina sat facing his former boot camp recruit, less than 10 feet away. He scribbled notes as the young man pointed him out after the prosecuting attorney, government counsel Lt. Ben Gullo, asked him to identify the man who assaulted him.

The alleged victim recounted joining the Coast Guard in September and going through the eight-week boot camp with Medina as one of his three company commanders.  "We all thought he was a great guy. We all looked up to Petty Officer Medina as a role model. If we messed up, he set us right," he testified.

The recruit said he graduated Oct. 26 with the rank of seaman and was assigned to Station Cape May. He got a short leave after graduation and went home to his native Tennessee. He said Medina called him there just to see how he was doing.  "My family was impressed," he said.

After he returned to Cape May, he had contact with Medina and ran into his wife, Sonya, who worked at the base's exchange. He said he was invited to watch a Sugar Shane Mosley boxing match at Medina's home at off-base Coast Guard housing on the night of Nov. 10. Medina picked him up on the base, he testified, and he brought with him a 12-pack of beer. He was supposed to bring his boot-camp friend, Fireman Apprentice Richard Tyler Woolley, who also testified Thursday, but Woolley had decided to go home to visit family.

The former recruit said the evening started with him playing Nintendo Wii with Medina's three children and everybody eating pizza. There was heavy drinking. He said he had nine Coors Lights, four imported beers and several vodka drinks.

"I was very drunk, sir," he said to Gullo.

After the family went to bed, he said Medina started asking him about a burn scar on his wrist. Medina then asked if he had any other scars. He pulled down the collar of his short-sleeve polo shirt to show him a burn mark on his chest.  "He used his right hand to touch my scar," he testified.

"What did he did do with his left hand?" asked Gullo.  "He stuck it in my pants, sir," he said.

This led to a confrontation, but after a verbal exchange, including discussion on whether he could go back to the base drunk, Medina then decided to spend the night in an extra bedroom.

"Your former company commander just grabbed your (private parts), and you've asked to sleep in his home. Why did you do that?" Gullo asked.

"I was very intoxicated, sir," he said, fighting back tears.

He testified the "ceiling was spinning" when he got in bed, but he quickly passed out. He gave graphic testimony of what he remembers next, claiming he woke up with Medina straddling him as he performed oral sex.  "I just kind of freaked out."

He still stayed the night but declined an offer for breakfast. He said Medina apologized profusely the next day as he drove him to the base. He said he felt disgusting and took a long shower. But he continued to have contact with Medina, including going to a shopping mall with the Medina family, and weeks went by before he told superiors.

Medina was represented by two U.S. Navy attorneys and civilian counsel Dale R. Saran, who attacked differing versions of events the seaman gave as he told people about it, including his immediate officers, Boatswain's Mate 3rd Class Amberlee Kruetzer and Boatswain's Mate Chief Charles Salls, and Woolley. In his sworn statement to Coast Guard investigators, Saran noted, he said he never passed out.

"Today you say you woke up and he was on you. So one of those is a lie," Saran said.

He claimed he initially held information back because "of the shame of it" and because he did not want "to be thought of as weak." This view was later supported by a Coast Guard investigator, Special Agent William Lowe, who said sex crime victims often hold back information. Kruetzer also supported the victim, testifying that he may not have gone home after the initial incident because Medina told him he could not get on the base after 10 p.m.

"He was very upset and very tortured somebody he looked up to did this to him," Kruetzer testified.  Saran also broached a touchy subject that led to an objection from Gullo. "Did you ever have any homosexual encounters?' Saran asked.

"Absolutely not," he said.

After a conference with Bowman, the question was withdrawn. The Coast Guard follows the military "don't ask, don't tell" policy, but any known homosexual activity is immediate cause for a discharge.

Saran then presented a "ditty bag" as evidence. This is a canvas bag all boot camp recruits sign for their company commander. The alleged victim was one of only two recruits who included his phone number under his signature. He offered a "hypothesis" of what may have happened that night.

"Maybe this was not forceful. Maybe it was consensual and after the fact he was bothered by it and he tells somebody," Saran said.

Lowe said Medina's hands were trembling and "his eyes welled up" during a 35-minute interview during the initial investigation. He said Medina admitted grabbing his former recruit's genitals in the initial encounter. Lowe said he later showed him to the spare bedroom but then waited outside of it for 5 to 10 minutes before entering. Lowe said Medina admitted to performing oral sex on the alleged victim.

The verbal confession is apparently much stronger than a three-page statement Medina signed for Lowe. The Press of Atlantic City is making a freedom of information request to obtain it.

Saran pressed for a recording of the interview, but Lowe said it is Coast Guard policy not to use recording devices. Saran found about five allegations that were not in the written statement or in Lowe's own handwritten notes.

In closing statements, Gullo made a plea for a court martial, saying Medina broke the Coast Guard's core values of "honor, respect and devotion to duty." He said the alleged victim never consented to what happened and felt embarrassment, shame and guilt.

"Nothing that happened that night is consistent with our core values," Gullo said.  Bowman said he will study the written transcript of the proceeding before making a recommendation.

Original Article

« Last Edit: May 06, 2008, 05:24:42 pm by BuoyJumper » Logged

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« Reply #31 on: May 06, 2008, 05:20:40 pm »

Oh **** .. here we go again.  What was this CC thinking that he could get away with behavior like that and not get caught.  What is it about DADT that he didn't get.  I don't care intoxicated or not why didn't the recruit get the hell outta there post haste?  Don't get it?
And what about this PO1s wife and children .. 
This will push the entire DADT issues back to front and center for a while ......
 
« Last Edit: May 06, 2008, 05:46:18 pm by BuoyJumper » Logged

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« Reply #32 on: May 06, 2008, 06:03:04 pm »

So this CC did this in his own home, with his wife and children there.........very weird, very, very weird!   :confused:

He's dust and so is his marriage probably....unless his wife already knew he enjoyed stuff like that.   ForJack!
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« Reply #33 on: May 06, 2008, 10:57:46 pm »

sexual addictions are real just like alcohol, drugs, gambling, work whatever....sex addicts are basically insane when acting out their addictions and there is no thought given to the consequences...so people ask why...just like they do when an alcoholic or druggie throws away everything important for the high...same brain chemistry works in the sex addict.

Yup, the guy is toast.
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« Reply #34 on: May 07, 2008, 09:30:56 am »

Quote
The Press of Atlantic City is making a freedom of information request to obtain it.

I doubt they will get it.  I tried to get a copy of the report from the alleged racial problems at Port Angeles.  Six years later the request was denied on the grounds it was an ongoing investigation.  However, the incident had been finished and investigated years ago.  The Coast Guard simply does not want to admit it screwed up and jumped to a conclusion about the "red necks" in that area. 



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« Reply #35 on: May 07, 2008, 10:35:23 am »



Coast Guard Airlifts Ill Fisherman
from 33 Miles at Sea


CAPE MAY -- The Coast Guard medevaced a fisherman May 6 who was suffering from severe flu-like symptoms about 33 miles south-southeast of this city.


Petty Officer 3rd Class Ashley Climaldi, a Coast Guard EMT,
examines 30-year-old Matthew Villinger May 6, Coast Guard
Photo by Fireman Apprentice Abidenas Neves.


Medevaced was Matthew Villinger, 30, of Manahawkin.

The Coast Guard received the call at 12:55 p.m. from a member aboard the 62-foot fishing boat F. Nelson Blount stating Villinger was suffering from severe flu-like symptoms.

A rescue boat crew from Coast Guard Station Cape May transferred Villinger back to the Coast Guard station to awaiting EMS personnel.

The F. Nelson Blount is homeported in Barnegat Light.

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« Reply #36 on: May 07, 2008, 11:13:21 am »

Coast Guard Helps To Clear Debris
From Suffolk, VA Tornado
   

For the first time since Monday’s storm, appraisers, contractors and other workers entered tornado-ravaged neighborhoods Friday without a home­owner escort. As of 6 p.m., police had issued more than 130 renewable day passes at the city’s disaster response center in the King’s Fork Middle School recreation facility. Workers can sign up there with a home­owner through at least Sunday.

Otherwise, visitation to the center and the American Red Cross’ disaster relief site slowed to a trickle as cleanup continued on the estimated $28.6 million in damage Monday’s twister left behind.  Also Friday, the Virginia Department of Emergency Management issued a statement that the damage from Monday’s tornadoes did not meet the threshold for federal disaster assistance.

Officials issued a plea for donations . Del. Chris Jones said he has heard from residents who need cash immediately to purchase everyday items.

“We have a lot of hands that are helping,” Jones said. “Now we need people to send money.”  United Way of South Hampton Roads has raised about $400,000 so far for its disaster fund, said development manager Beth Cross.

Left:  Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Betsy Harrell helps clear debris in Suffolk, Va., May 2, 2008.   A tornado ravaged the community a earlier in the week. Right:  Coast Guard
Chief Warrant Officer Daniel McDonald removes debris from a destroyed home in Suffolk, Va., May 2, 2004, after a Tornado ripped through the region earlier in the week. The Coast
Guard, Navy and Marine Corps volunteered to assist in cleanup efforts.  USCG photo/PO2 Christopher Evanson.


About 200 volunteers arrived in neighborhoods on Friday.  Amongst them volunteers from the Coast Guard, Navy and Marine Corps in an effort to patch up homes before the weekend’s forecast thunderstorms, said Jody Herrington, director of U.S. Disaster Relief for Operation Blessing International.

More volunteers are expected to begin working today, but organizers are trying to keep the number manageable for the time being, Herrington said. “If we get too many people in there, the way the areas are congested, it could get hazardous,” she said.

More than 250 volunteers have also assisted the Red Cross with its relief effort. They’ve provided counseling, meals and medical help to hundreds of tornado victims, said Pam Wakefield, disaster services manager for the American Red Cross of Southeastern Virginia.

The city is planning for a large-scale volunteer day on May 10. A community meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday at King’s Fork High School.

In Bayberry Cove, a neighborhood northeast of Driver that was also hit by the tornado, much of the cleanup was finished by Friday.

A group of Marines helped speed up the recovery there after learning that the home of 1st Sgt. Tim Neal , one of the men they had deployed with to Africa, suffered some of the worst damage in the neighborhood.

Neal, a reservist, got the call Tuesday morning.

“Hey, we’re on our way,” said one of the men from Marine Air Control Squadron 24. “You don’t have to worry about anything.”

The 10 Marines stayed and helped several of Neal’s neighbors pick up their messes, too.

“When you’re in the Marines, you’re never really alone,” Neal said Friday. “Someone’s always got your back.”

Partial content for story taken from this article
« Last Edit: May 07, 2008, 11:23:37 am by BuoyJumper » Logged

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« Reply #37 on: May 07, 2008, 05:41:51 pm »

I'll self promote our Group with some relatively recent news:

Sorry I don't know how to imbed video.



Here is another one:

By Jeff Chew, Peninsula Daily News


KALA POINT — A Kala Point man remained in stable condition at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle after spending 30 minutes clinging to his overturned dinghy in the cold water on Wednesday.

Emergency workers with East Jefferson Fire Rescue pulled James Caetta from the water near the Kala Point dock after commandeering an 8-foot skiff to travel about 50 yards from the dock to where he was.

The firefighters "rowed to him and lifted him out of the water," after receiving an emergency 9-1-1 phone call at about 11:19 a.m., said Ted Krysinski, East Jefferson Fire-Rescue assistant chief.

Once ashore, Caetta was placed in an ambulance. But after a paramedic's examination, he was airlifted to Harborview.

Caetta had suffered hypothermia, and also had a history of heart disease, Krysinski said, so it was determined he should be treated at Harborview.

A Coast Guard Group/Air Station Port Angeles HH-65C Dolphin rescue helicopter, which had been called to help in the rescue, airlifted Caetta to Harborview.

Caetta was conscious, soaked and talking when the helicopter landed at the playground near the dock to pick him up.

He had lost his balance and fallen into the water when he tried to step onto his sailboat from his dinghy about 50 yards from the Kala Point dock, Krysinski said.

Krysinski said his rescue team chose to commandeer the dinghy after attempts to throw a line to Caetta from the dock fell short.

As part of their routine rescue program, Krysinski said Fire-Rescue also called its marine unit, along with Jefferson County Sheriff's Office's marine unit and Naval Magazine Indian Island's security service.

Caetta's wife, who watched the rescue from the shore, and who was not with him at the time of the incident, said he was attempting to test out his new sailboat, which was anchored off the dock.

"This was a practice run," she said, declining to give her name

Keith, Found the video on CG YouTube .. Buoy
« Last Edit: May 07, 2008, 05:51:07 pm by BuoyJumper » Logged

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« Reply #38 on: May 07, 2008, 06:17:16 pm »

NAVY.mil

CG Collaborates to Help a Sailor
Story Number: NNS080506-10
Release Date: 5/6/2008 12:28:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jonathen E. Davis, USS John C. Stennis Public Affairs

USS JOHN C. STENNIS, At Sea (NNS) -- Stennis got underway from Bremerton, Wash., May 1, en route to San Diego to begin conducting a series of exercises.

In the first 24-hours underway, USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) and the United States Coast Guard (USCG) Air Station Port Angeles, Wash., combined efforts and responded as a joint force.

Only hours after shoving off, Naval Base Kitsap's executive officer, Cmdr. Jim Travers received an urgent message for John C. Stennis.

Immediately he called Stennis' Executive Officer, Cmdr. David Burnham. A Stennis Sailor had a family emergency ashore.

"Thanks to the immediate response and communication from Cmdr. Travers, we were able to alert the captain. He immediately assessed the ship's position," said Burnham. "He ordered a hard reversal of course and best speed toward Port Angeles."

The ship's crew sprung to action. Without delay, a message was sent to the Port Angeles USCG asking for air support to take the Sailor to his family in Tacoma, Wash.

In the brief moments it took to get the reply from the Coast Guard, Stennis' Deck Department was pressing on with a back-up plan. They readied a ridged-hull inflatable boat to take the Sailor ashore.

Then the word came in. The Coast Guard was sending a helicopter to land on Stennis.



"The captain canceled the boat and had Air Department make a ready deck," explained Burnham.

While the Air Department was preparing to receive the USCG helicopter, the Navigation Department was adjusting course.

"We had navigation department provide the needed winds across the bow in order to effectively recover the in-bound helo," said Stennis Command Master Chief (AW/SW) Joseph Powers. "By the way, [the pilot] had never conducted a landing on an aircraft carrier before. It didn't slow him down for a nanosecond. Airboss' team coached him in for a perfect landing!"

With the help from all the departments aboard Stennis, Powers explained, within 30 minutes of receiving notification, the Sailor was air lifted off the Stennis and was taken to awaiting ground transportation provided by Naval Base Kitsap's executive officer.

"A true team effort, and a real-life example of how the Stennis team rallies around our Sailors in the most difficult hour," said Powers.

Stennis commanding officer, Capt. Brad Johanson, expressed his thanks in a message to USCG Air Station, Port Angeles, for the expeditious helicopter transport for his Sailor.

"Your quick action and proactive interservice support is one of the finest examples of teamwork I have ever seen," said Johanson.

In the first few hours of a two-month underway, Stennis executed the same skills they set out to train for; working together to respond to any emergent situation they are called to do.

Original Article
Photo is a comp made for dramatic effect ... Buoy
« Last Edit: May 08, 2008, 12:39:13 pm by BuoyJumper » Logged

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« Reply #39 on: May 07, 2008, 06:44:56 pm »

Thanks Ron,

My nephew is stationed aboard the STENNIS.  He was in San Diego this past weekend and some of my family went down to see him.  He had mentioned a USCG Helicopter landed aboard; but I thought it was routine OPs.  Same story from the Carrier's web site & here's the photo that went with the story:



Source: CVN 74 Homepage
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« Reply #40 on: May 07, 2008, 07:00:42 pm »

I love this comment:

Quote
“By the way, [the pilot] had never conducted a landing on an aircraft carrier before.”
    ROTF ROTF ROTF

Must have been a REAL challenge for a CG helicopter pilot to land on something as tiny as that aircraft carrier's deck!

 LMAO LMAO LMAO LMAO

Probably more accustomed to the deck of a 378! 

Always nice to see we can help out the Navy once in awhile........as usual!   
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« Reply #41 on: May 07, 2008, 10:27:34 pm »

The senior pilot was a prior Marine. I don't hold it against him. I'm not certain if he has been on a carrier or not but I know he has landed on many a Navy ship. I will have to ask him for sure. The junior pilot certainly has never landed and I know he was the one on the radio asking how and where to land so maybe they go the idea from that.

They both said it was like landing at the international airport. They didn't even get the "numbers" as the ship was pretty much its own stable land mass. The carrier just pointed out parking spot six (really, there are that many). I am just glad that those Navy guys were able to help him land in such a tight space though. Roll Eyes

I was thoroughly impressed when I walked in the command center minutes after the case was completed and found out the CO of the Stennis had already radioed his thanks to the Group.

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« Reply #42 on: May 07, 2008, 11:46:58 pm »

By the way, the photo of the CG helo flying over the Aircraft carrier is not a photo of the actual event. It looks photoshopped. According to the pilots, the deck was clear add to that the fact it was nearing nighttime when it happened.
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« Reply #43 on: May 07, 2008, 11:51:21 pm »

By the way, the photo of the CG helo flying over the Aircraft carrier is not a photo of the actual event. It looks photoshopped. According to the pilots, the deck was clear add to that the fact it was nearing nighttime when it happened.
Photo is a comp made for dramatic effect ... Buoy 

I feel sorry for you poor guys in PA. I dreaded my weekly drive to the Gru YN office every week from Bellingham. There's nothing to do there, that I found. Except drink of course.
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« Reply #44 on: May 08, 2008, 12:16:16 am »

I LOVE PA. Tons of things to do. Hike, camp, fish, hunt, what else do you need? Different strokes I guess.
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