Coast Guard PO2 John R. Blackman Jr has been charged with sexually abusing a 4-year-old boy. According to the Peninsula Clarion, Soldotna Police officers investigated the allegations of abuse after receiving a March 4 call from the child’s mother.
The child was taken to a registered sexual assault nurse examiner in Kenai who indicated the injuries were severe and would require follow up from a medical doctor, according to court records.
Petty Officer John R. Blackman Jr duties on board the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Hickory has not been affected. Defense attorney Andy Pevehouse even submitted a request for bail modification asking the court to permit Blackman to leave the state of Alaska if he is aboard a U.S. Coast Guard vessel.
Even though we wholeheartedly believe that one is innocent until proven guilty, precautions should be made for the safety, morale and well being of his fellow shipmates. Petty Officer Blackman should be suspended until the case is resolved, and fired if found guilty.
The U.S. Coast Guard is conducting its own investigation. We hope that they don’t resort to blaming
the child, once again.
Aimee, United States Air Force
I am not sure if I am included in this exact space, as I am not active or former active duty military. But I have been raped by active duty members twice.
The first time, I was eight years old. My dad was in the Air Force and we were stationed overseas. It was a friend (or at least co-worker) of my dad who was babysitting me and my younger brother. He raped me in the shower, a blur of pain and blinding water. I mostly remember laying there while the water turned cold, staring at my reflection in the faucet. This is a case that probably could have been successfully prosecuted because of my age, but I was too lacking in the ability to cope or acknowledge what had happened to me. I didn’t understand, and my parents never noticed anything being wrong with me. I later learned what it was that happened to me, and it only made me more afraid of anyone finding out.
The second time I was 15, living in Colorado after my dad left the military. I was visiting a friend in Colorado Springs and while at a mall we met some men in the Army. I was uncomfortable with them flirting with us, but she was very flirty and I didn’t think it would be a big deal since it was just the mall. She saw some friends and walked away in an argument for a short time. While we were separated, one of the army men raped me in his car. He left for Iraq the next morning and I didn’t know anything about him. I felt like I would be blamed, and again couldn’t deal with the idea of people examining me or questioning me. I hadn’t dealt with the first rape yet, and this one made it much worse. I wish I had said something, even if it ended futilely. What if he raped again while in Iraq?
I have a lot of regrets about how I never came forward about this. Now I’m 24, and I am married to someone in the Air Force. We live overseas and I have been extremely hesitant about leaving our house or making friends because of this fear of being attacked by military men. I love my husband, and the military was the best option for him – and us as a family – but sometimes I am completely overwhelmed by social anxiety.
I wrote this for the site, despite hesitation over whether it applies, because the problem the military has with sexual assault extends beyond those in the service. I have never had to deal with the pain of being silenced by superiors and forced to work with the perpetrator, so my story is different. I am another product of the rape culture the military protects. I am recently trying to get involved with being an Advocate on the base I live at. My husband thinks it will be too much for me to handle, but I want to start helping in a direct way. I have met many military women who have been victims, and men and women who advocate for them are my heroes.
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.