Coast Guard blames children victims, age 8 and 10, for sexual abuse.

Denise L, Abused by a member of the United States Coast Guard

A year ago today my father died.  My father served in the Coast Guard for 30 years and received an Honorable Discharge and a generous pension. I am a Coast Guard brat. My father was also a pedophile. My sister and I was molested by our father who was at the time a Chief in the Coast Guard. I was 10 years old and my sister was 8 when we finally reported the abuse to my mom who in turn reported it to civilian authorities. With the help of dolls the policewoman in town took down our testimonies and arrested my dad for questioning. Coast Guard took over the case and made my sister and I go into the painful details of the abuse once again, this time without the help of the dolls. I remember the Coast Guard asking me if my mom put me up to saying this and to stop “playing pretend” because it can get my father in trouble. Coast Guard concluded that my sister and I were just looking for attention.

Our mother took us out of state to live with my maternal grandparents while filing for divorce. My father after being issued divorce papers he came looking for us armed with a Coast Guard-issued gun. My mother requested a restraining order but was told that since my father was a member of the Coast Guard that it must done through the Coast Guard channels. The Coast Guard refused to issue us a military protective order. As a result we ended up moving again and a total of 12 times until I was 18 and went off to college.

I was an avid soccer player for my college and newspapers and a google search on my name all comes up with information about my college and my team. One day my father arrived on campus with a Coast Guard issued weapon and threatened me to tell me where my mom is. The campus police arrested him and handed him over to the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard chose not to punish him. Thirty years of service in the Coast Guard, two arrests including an arrest for child sexual abuse and the Coast Guard still handed him an Honorable Discharge, bumped up his rank and gave him a pension.

What sick organization is the Coast Guard for telling children that they are at fault for sexual abuse? It is more than just a few rotten apples.  So many people were involved in protecting my father. In my eyes they are all at fault and should be investigated and punished.

I wrote dozens of letters to the Coast Guard and after a year they finally responded by saying that they did nothing wrong and that it was the fault of my sister and I. We were age 8 and 10.

8 comments

  1. I am not surprised. I served in the Coast Guard for many years. When a high ranking member does something wrong, even illegal, the Coast Guard looks the other way. I know of a Senior Chief who was arrested several times by civilian police for having DUIs. When it reached the Coast Guard they don’t seem to care. He is still in. NOTHING HAPPENED TO HIM.

    On the other hand if it was an E-3 who received a DUI or was accused of molesting his daughters you’ll know that they’ll throw him in the brig without a 2nd though.

  2. I am sorry that you went through this. I am not surprised that the Coast Guard protected him. Once you make Chief or are an officer of any rank you’ll be immune from getting in trouble. I know of a Captain that was caught with Cocaine and he continued on with his career like nothing happened. I know of a PO1 that was CONVICTED of sexual assault and the Coast Guard later dropped the charges because it was too much paper work to follow through with the court-ordered Early Retirement. Even something as small as weight requirements no longer matter. I think we all served with officers or high ranking enlisted members that are clearly over the weight limit yet nobody says anything.

  3. If the Coast Guard sees nothing wrong with minor girls being paid off to perform sexual acts to men in the Coast Guard while on tour in Central America (remember CGC Mellon?) then why would they care about girls in the US who are being abused by men in the Coast Guard. I know a woman who was beaten by her husband, a Coast Guard Commander, and they made the wife out to be crazy. They did not protect her. I haven’t been in a Coast Guard unit in which at least one male which is usually an officer not being accused of some sort of abuse either domestic abuse or abuse towards a woman in the Coast Guard. I haven’t ever seen a man in the Coast Guard prosecuted for crimes done against women. Perhaps if it was two sons instead of two daughters they would have cared more.

  4. This is especially disturbing because the Coast Guard has the 2nd hight rate of domestic abuse rates than any other group of people in the entire country. Native American families hold on to tops.

  5. I am sorry that you went through this. It is obviously traumatizing but glad that you are breaking the silence of abuse.

    I have seen the Coast Guard put spouses who report intimate partner violence through the unthinkable. We had one Chief who was arrested by local law enforcement for domestic violence. Within a few months he was promoted to Senior Chief. They said that the wife was crazy and had mental problems. It is a shame that not only that we can’t protect the women in the Coast Guard we also can not protect our civilian family members. When the public knows that the Coast Guard ignore allegations of abuse then we all suffer. Most rather be safe than sorry so in their mind if they can’t tell who is the rapist or abuser then we all are.

  6. Does anyone else remember Master Chief David Pierce? The Coast Guard ignored the allegations from his ex-wife saying that she was crazy, a liar and did nothing to protect her. Master Chief Pierce continued to victimize his ex-wife and finally the civilian police instead took action and arrested him and a civilian trial found enough evidence to throw him in federal prison and make him register as a sex offender.

  7. Denise, I am so sorry you went through this. You are doing so well — you survived, and you are living your life, and you are speaking out. What a great woman you are, and all of us, together, can make change in the world.

  8. Does anyone know of any sexual abuse of children connected with the Coast Guard cutter Mendota USCGC Mendota (WHEC-69)?

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