Coast Guardsman Found Guilty of Sexual Assault


A 27-year-old Coast Guardsman was found guilty of sexual assault and other charges Sunday during a general court-martial in Norfolk.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Jerry W. Clifft pleaded not guilty to all charges but was found guilty of one count of giving a false official statement, one count of sexual assault and two counts of assault. Clifft was found not guilty of two other counts of assault.

According to a press release from the Coast Guard, Clifft was sentenced to four years in prison, reduction of rank to seaman recruit, total forfeiture of pay and allowances as well as a dishonorable discharge.

Lt. Scott McBride, Coast Guard Atlantic Area public affairs officer, said Clifft was assigned to the Maritime Force Protection Unit in Bangor, Wash., from 2009 to 2012. The two incidents of assault occurred during his time in Washington, McBride said, in July 2011 and November 2011.

McBride said Clifft was assigned to the Maritime Security Response Team Chesapeake beginning in July 2012. The sexual assault occurred in Virginia Beach in July 2014 while he was assigned in Chesapeake.

Vice Adm. William Lee, commander of the Coast Guard Atlantic Area, referred Clifft's case to general court-martial on Oct. 1, 2015.

Clifft is serving his sentence at the Naval Consolidated Brig in Chesapeake.

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