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Marine Colonel Accused of Sex Crimes Ordered to Brig to Await Trial

Col. T. Shane Tomko addresses Marines before the sitting volleyball game against the Navy during the 2014 Warrior Games, on Sept. 28, 2014, at Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs (Photo by Ashton C. Buckingham/U.S. Marine Corps)
Col. T. Shane Tomko addresses Marines before the sitting volleyball game against the Navy during the 2014 Warrior Games, on Sept. 28, 2014, at Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs (Photo by Ashton C. Buckingham/U.S. Marine Corps)

The former head of the Marines' Wounded Warrior Regiment will spend the next weeks or months behind bars as he awaits trial on charges of steroid abuse and abusive sexual contact, among other offenses.

Col. Shane Tomko was ordered to pretrial confinement May 6, Marine Corps Installations Command spokesman Rex Runyon told Military.com. He was confined at Rappahannock Regional Jail until this morning, Runyon said, and is now in the process of being transferred to Navy Consolidated Brig Chesapeake, Virginia.

Tomko was charged April 11 with conspiracy to obstruct justice, violations of lawful general orders, wrongful possession and use of anabolic steroids, a Schedule III controlled substance, abusive sexual contact, conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman, fraternization, and obstruction of justice.

Tomko, 53, was relieved from his post as commanding officer of the Wounded Warrior Regiment in Quantico, Virginia in February 2015 due to a "loss of confidence in his leadership," Marine officials said at the time. He enlisted in 1983 and had previously served as the operations officer for 2nd Marine Division, out of Camp Lejeune, N.C.

Following his relief, Tomko was reassigned to Manpower and Reserve Affairs staff at Quantico, where evidence shows he continued to participate in high-profile events. In October 2015, eight months after he was relieved, the Associated Press photographed him meeting with the first lady, Michelle Obama, as she visited the USO Warrior and Family Center at Fort Belvoir, Maryland.

Runyon told Military.com Tomko was ordered to confinement after violating terms of pre-trial restriction.

"I cannot discuss exactly how the restriction was violated since those matters are currently being evaluated," he said.

The next hearing for Tomko, an arraignment on the charges he now faces, has yet to be scheduled.

The Washington Post reported in March that Tomko had been investigated on accusations of sexually assaulting women during his tenure as head of WWR. The paper cited a lawsuit filed in Circuit Court in Prince William County, Virginia by a civilian woman who alleged Tomko sexually assaulted her during a work trip.

Court records show the lawsuit was filed in October 2015, but withdrawn in January.

Tomko's military lawyer, Marine Reserve Col. Terri Zimmermann, did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.

Tomko could be in the brig for some time. A long-range military docket shows a motions hearing scheduled for late July, and a trial tentatively set to begin Aug. 15.

-- Hope Hodge Seck can be reached at hope.seck@monster.com. Follow her on Twitter at @HopeSeck.

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