Coast Guardsman sentenced for attempted sexual abuse

thanlon@adn.comOctober 4, 2013 

A U.S. Coast Guard fireman apprentice was sentenced Friday in a Juneau military court after pleading guilty to attempting to commit sexual abuse of a child, attempting to engage in indecent conduct with a child, failure to obey a lawful order, and possession of child pornography, the Coast Guard said in a press release.

Christopher S. Cooley, 23 was sentenced to seven years confinement, a bad conduct discharge, total forfeiture of all pay and allowance, and reduction in pay grade to E-1.

In accordance with a pre-trial agreement, Cooley's confinement beyond 50 months will be suspended, according to the release. The general court martial was Friday at the Coast Guard's 17th District headquarters in Juneau.

Cooley, who was assigned to a Coast Guard cutter in Sitka at the time the offenses were discovered, pleaded guilty at the general court martial.

Cooley will serve his sentence at Naval Consolidated Brig Miramar in Miramar, Calif., according to the release. He has been confined there since December 2012 "because he posed a creditable threat to the community," according to the release.

Lt. Veronica Colbath, a Coast Guard spokeswoman, said there were three victims, two in Alaska and one in California, all between ages 11 and 16. The investigation began in July 2012 but the conduct issues began in January, she said.

"And a majority of the contact was text messaging and phone calls," Colbath said. She would not say what about those text messages or phone calls violated the code of conduct.

"I don't have the details about what he was doing or how he was doing it," she said.

Reach Tegan Hanlon at thanlon@adn.com or 257-4589.

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