Hearing set for US Coast Guard captain charged with 31 offenses, including indecent acts, sodomy, fraud and conduct unbecoming an officer

A hearing will be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday for Capt. Herbert “Mark” Hamilton III, who was charged Nov. 3 with multiple offenses, including indecent acts, sodomy, fraud and conduct unbecoming an officer.

Hamilton, the former commander of Coast Guard Sector Anchorage, Alaska, will have a chance to present evidence and question witnesses in an Article 32 investigative hearing at Fort Richardson in Anchorage, Alaska, according to the US Coast Guard. A Coast Guard officer will review the evidence and recommend whether some or all of the charges should be dropped and whether the case should go to court-martial, said Lt. Cmdr. Greg Versaw, a staff attorney for the 17th Coast Guard District which covers Alaska. The hearing is scheduled for two to three days, he said.

The investigating officer will have five working days from the end of the hearing to prepare a report for District Commander Rear Adm. Christopher Colvin. Colvin will make a final determination based on the recommendations in the report.

If the charges are upheld and Hamilton is tried at a general court-martial, he could face confinement and dismissal from the service.

A call to Hamilton was not immediately returned.

Hamilton was charged with 31 violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, according to a Coast Guard press release. Hamilton, who is working for the chief of staff in Sector Anchorage, was temporarily removed from command May 11 for the alleged misconduct and a loss of confidence in his ability to command.

The charges were based on a preliminary investigation conducted by the Coast Guard Investigative Service, according to the press release.

According to charging documents, Hamilton has been accused of failing to follow orders; lying to investigators; committing adultery with enlisted personnel; sodomy; sending and receiving “sexual and amorous text messages” using a government cell phone; photographing sexual acts; downloading and storing sexually explicit material on his government-issued laptop; and making an official phone call “while engaged in sexual activity.” Hamilton also is accused of trying to “wrongfully influence the career of and defame the character” of a fellow service member between January and May, according to the documents.

The charges stretch from November 2004 until he was relieved of command this year. Hamilton had been the deputy commander at Sector Los Angeles/Long Beach, California, before he came to Anchorage in July 2008.

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