Corpsman gets restriction for lying about child’s age
CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — A Navy corpsman found guilty of lying about his daughter’s age to enroll her in kindergarten a year early was reduced in rank from E-6 to E-5 on Friday and was restricted to his barracks for 60 days.
A jury found the petty officer first class guilty Thursday of larceny, forgery, wrongfully impeding an investigation, obtaining government services under false pretenses and two counts of making false official statements.
The jury found the sailor not guilty of assault.
Prosecutors said that during the 2006–07 school year he signed papers and altered documents to make his daughter appear 5 years old, the cut-off age for enrollment in kindergarten in the Department of Defense Dependents Schools system.
His daughter was enrolled at Bechtel Elementary School for about three months, according to court testimony.
Once his forgery was discovered, the sailor lied about the location of the documents during an investigation by his chain of command, according to court testimony.
The sailor is assigned to Headquarters Company, 7th Communications Battalion, on Camp Hansen.
The prosecution claimed the sailor, motivated by financial problems, launched the scheme to avoid spending money on day care. The sailor claimed he placed his daughter in kindergarten on the advice of a counselor to help her get over a sexual assault in Hawaii. He said he was confused when he wrote the wrong age on school registration papers.
Arguing for a stiff sentence, the prosecutor, Marine Capt. Andrew Beckwith, said the petty officer lacked integrity.
“The accused lied repeatedly in the court-martial,” Beckwith said. “He took that stand and lied to you. Take the fact that he lied to you into consideration.”
Beckwith wrapped up his statements by asking that the jury impose a fine of $4,000, confinement for 180 days, reduction to E-3 and a discharge because someone who “can’t be trusted” has “no value to the service.”
Arguing for leniency, Capt. Kristy Milton said the corpsman’s illegal activities started when he tried to help his daughter.
“That was how this whole situation began, and it spiraled out of control,” she said, asking that the sailor be reduced one rank, restricted to quarters for 60 days and be given a letter of reprimand.
Stars and Stripes does not identify the families of children who are suspected victims of sexual assault.