Coast Guard member sentenced after military court finds him guilty of sexual assault in Port Angeles

SEATTLE — Authorities say a Coast Guard member has been found guilty of sexually assaulting a girl at his Port Angeles residence in 2014 and lying about it.

The U.S. Coast Guard says Petty Officer 3rd Class Juan A. Guzman was sentenced in Seattle on Friday to confinement for four years, a reduction in rank, forfeiture of all pay and a dishonorable discharge.

The Coast Guard says Guzman was convicted of committing a sexual assault in Port Angeles in May 2014 and then lying to Coast Guard Investigative Service agents about it in July 2015.

The Coast Guard said the incident involved a sexual act against a person incapable of consenting because of alcohol impairment, according to a news release.

Thirteenth Coast Guard District spokesman Lt. Dana Warr told the Peninsula Daily News that the victim was a female who was younger than 18 at the time of the assault.

The assault occurred at Guzman’s private residence, Warr said.

The case was handled in military court because of the alleged violation of Article 120 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, Warr said. Article 120 deals with rape and sexual assault.

“We take those reports seriously,” Warr said in a Saturday interview.

“Our first priority was the victim and protecting her privacy.”

The Coast Guard Investigative Service completed its investigation in July 2016. The case was referred to a general court-martial last September.

“The Coast Guard’s policies and focus on sexual assault crimes incorporate numerous prohibited elements of criminal misconduct,” Coast Guard officials said in a Friday news release.

“These policies target the crime of forcible rape and all unwanted sexual acts and contact that are aggravated or abusive in nature.

“The efforts of the Coast Guard are sharply focused on creating a culture where every service member respects the rights of others.”

The Guzman case was prosecuted by Coast Guard judge advocates from the 13th Coast Guard District in Seattle.

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