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Coast Guardsman gets 7 years for indecent acts

A 43-year-old Coast Guardsman was sentenced to seven years' confinement during a court-martial Thursday following his conviction for indecent acts with a child and making a false official statement, the Coast Guard said.

Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Benjamin L. Sylvester, of Belfast, Maine, also was sentenced to a dishonorable discharge, forfeiture of all pay and allowances and a reduction in rank to E-1 during the general court-martial in Juneau, Alaska, the service said Friday in a news release.

Sylvester is scheduled to serve three years at Naval Consolidated Brig Miramar in California, with four years suspended, under the terms of a pre-trial agreement.

The indecent acts with a child under the age of 16 occurred in 2004, according to the Coast Guard, while Sylvester was stationed in Maine. The victim came forward in November 2012.

"This case was unique as the crime occurred nearly a decade ago; however, once notified, the criminal investigators, prosecutors, and victim support staff worked diligently to bring it to resolution," Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. John Cashman said in the statement.

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