A Coast Guard officer formerly stationed on a Charleston-based ship will face a court martial over sex assault charges.
According to a release from the Coast Guard Friday, Petty Officer 2nd Class Omar Gomez faces four charges amidst accusations that he assaulted eight different women over the past seven years.
The charges include cruelty and maltreatment, failure to obey a lawful order, false official statement, and general articles, which covers other offenses not listed in regulations.
Officials began investigating Gomez in September 2012 after he was named in a sexual assault reported in Charleston aboard the Coast Guard cutter Gallatin. However, they learned about other incidents dating back to 2006, while Gomez was stationed in Seattle. He’s accused of other assaults while serving aboard the Gallatin in Honduras, Cuba, and Charleston.
Vice Adm. Robert C. Parker, Atlantic Area Commander and the court-martial convening authority, decided to refer the case to a general court-martial. The decision was made after an investigation by the Coast Guard Investigative Service, a pretrial investigation under Article 32, UCMJ, and Article 34 pre-trial legal advice from the Atlantic Area staff judge advocate.
Gomez has been reassigned pending his hearing.
Six of the female victims were also in the Coast Guard, while two were civilians, according to the release. One remains on board the Gallatin, while others asked to be transferred.
Gomez is one of two former Gallatin crew member to be charged with sexual misconduct this month. Lt. Wayne Barfield was also charged with sexual assault and maltreatment three weeks ago. Officials did not say if the two cases were connected.