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Northland Coast Guard Member Pleads Guilty to Attempting to Film Women

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A Coast Guard member who served on the Portsmouth-based cutter Northland will spend six months in the Naval Consolidated Brig in Chesapeake after pleading guilty to charges that he attempted to film two women serving on the same vessel without their knowledge.

Petty Officer 1st Class Michael Cote, 32, was sentenced Friday to one year in the brig with six months suspended in a deal in which he pleaded guilty to two charges of attempted indecent visual recording. His rank was reduced to seaman recruit and he received a bad conduct discharge, said Lt. Scott McBride, a Coast Guard Atlantic Area spokesman.

According to the charge sheet, Cote used a cellphone with a digital camera to record his victims on multiple occasions between July 2014 and May 2015 . The Northland was in port during those times.

McBride said the first victim reported the incident in May 2015.

"Through the investigation, that's when the second victim was discovered," he said. "I don't think she knew."

McBride said no forensic evidence indicated there were other victims.

Cote used a common space next a female locker area when he attempted to gather the footage, McBride said.

Cote's defense counsel Lt. Nicholas Smith called the incidents an unfortunate situation, one "he's taken full responsibility for and is going to go on from this and move on with his life."

Cote joined the Coast Guard in January 2002.

Prior to the charges, Cote had "an absolutely flawless military record," Smith said.

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