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Coast Guard Cutter Alder crewman faces court martial

A U.S. Coast Guard officer stationed on the Duluth-based cutter Alder, accused of sexually assaulting a woman in Portsmouth, Va., one year ago, will face a court martial starting Monday.

A U.S. Coast Guard officer stationed on the Duluth-based cutter Alder, accused of sexually assaulting a woman in Portsmouth, Va., one year ago, will face a court martial starting Monday.

The Ninth Coast Guard District said Friday that Petty Officer 3rd Class Matthew Rogers has been charged with Article 120 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice for allegedly committing a sexual assault against a civilian woman at a hotel in Portsmouth on Aug. 15, 2012.

Rogers, 24, a native of Phoenix, was in Portsmouth at the time on a training assignment. He had served in Duluth on the Alder for about five months when the incident occurred, Coast Guard officials told the News Tribune on Friday.

If found guilty of all charges, he could face up to 120 years in prison.

In addition to the sexual assault charge, Rogers is charged with making a false official statement, obstructing justice and misuse of a military ID card. Rogers also is charged with Articles 81 and 134 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice for allegedly conspiring to tamper with a command-directed urinalysis on March 15, 2013.

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According to the Coast Guard announcement, Rear Adm. Michael N. Parks, formerly the commander of the Coast Guard 9th District, decided to refer Rogers' case to a general court-martial. The decision was made after investigations by the Coast Guard Investigative Service. Rear Adm. Fred Midgette, the current commander of the 9th District, is the court-martial convening authority.

Rogers officially is assigned to the Coast Guard Station at Marblehead, Ohio, but was serving on Cutter Alder, a 225-foot buoy tender based in Duluth, when the incident occurred.

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