Coast Guard commander sent to brig after harassing, having sex with recruits

The following is the text of a press release issued by the U.S. Coast Guard:

(CAPE MAY, N.J.) – A Coast Guardsman was found guilty of several violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice while serving as a company commander from 2009 to 2010 during a hearing Wednesday in Norfolk, Va., at approximately 1:30 p.m.

Chief Petty Officer Carlos Resendez was sentenced to confinement for 12 months, reduction to the lowest enlisted grade, and a bad conduct discharge after being found guilty of Maltreatment of Subordinates, Failure to Obey a Lawful Order, and Adultery stemming from inappropriate contact with recruits under his charge at various times from spring 2009 to summer 2010. His trial was held at Coast Guard Legal Service Command in Norfolk.

“A company commander’s mission is to train Coast Guardsmen in a manner that secures the trust and confidence of both our service and the families and friends who entrust us with the care of their loved ones,” said Capt. Bill Kelly, the commanding officer of Coast Guard Training Center Cape May. “We will not tolerate any actions that violate that trust and confidence or the high moral and ethical standards we demand of our training staff.”

The trial revealed that Resendez abused his military authority as a company commander to sexually harass several female recruits. In one instance, he abused his position of authority by having sexual relations with a recruit, which resulted in charges of maltreatment and violation of a lawful order. He was found guilty of all charges referred to trial.

“Our primary concern in this case was to ensure the privacy, support and treatment of the victims and to ensure a fair and objective trial,” said Kelly. “The Coast Guard takes all reports of sexual misconduct seriously and thoroughly investigates each report; this case is an example of our commitment to ensure accountability in such cases.”

Resendez is stationed at Coast Guard Training Center Petaluma, Calif., where he served as an indoctrination instructor until the allegations against him surfaced in April 2011. He was immediately reassigned to administrative duties during the investigation and trial. Resendez will initially be confined at the Naval Consolidated Brig facility in Chesapeake, Va.

“Training Center Cape May has gone to great lengths to prevent this from happening in the future by improving our recruit standard operating procedures, ensuring the highest level of training and oversight for our company commanders, and educating our recruits early and often about Coast Guard civil rights, sexual harassment and sexual assault policies,” said Kelly. “The command and senior leadership provide visible and positive leadership amongst the company commander corps and within the recruit regiment to achieve the best possible environment to train and prepare the future of our Service.”

By Professional Mariner Staff