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Media Contact: (907) 463-2065

17th District Public Affairs

U.S. Coast Guard

News Release

Date: July 30, 2013

Coast Guard 17th District External Affairs Office

Contact: Coast Guard 17th District External Affairs Office

Office: (907) 463-2065

Coast Guard schedules court-martial in Juneau, Alaska

Editors Note: The court-martial is open to the public and the media. All attendees at the court-martial should contact the Coast Guard 17th District External Affairs staff for a copy of the ground rules 907-463-2065.

JUNEAU, Alaska — A Coast Guard petty officer accused of rape and sexual contact will face a court-martial Wednesday at 8 a.m., in room 285 of the Hurff Ackerman Sanders Federal Building in Juneau.

Petty Officer 3rd Class William Bisel, 26, an aviation maintenance technician assigned to the public works department at Coast Guard Air Station Sitka is charged with two violations of Article 120 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, which involves sexual assault.

The decision by Rear Adm. Thomas P. Ostebo, Commander, Coast Guard 17th District, is based on the recommendation of an Article 32 hearing completed Feb. 4, 2013, that reasonable grounds exist to try Bisel, for two counts of violating Article 120 of the UCMJ.  The Article 32 hearing is similar to a grand jury hearing in the civilian court system.

Charges are accusations against the individual and the accused is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. The Coast Guard is committed to a fair proceeding in compliance with the UCMJ.

The UCMJ is a complete set of criminal laws that covers most crimes contained in civilian law in addition to other military-specific offenses such as failure to obey an order, desertion, etc.  Additional information about the UCMJ and the military justice system can be found at: http://www.uscg.mil/legal/mj/MJ_Doc/UCMJ12.pdf.

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