A US Marine Colonel has been sentenced to jail time and a fine after being accused of inappropriate sexual contact.
53-year-old Colonel Shane Tomko pleaded guilty to inappropriate contact over text and social media with enlisted subordinates, as well as steroid possession, violating a military restraining order, conduct unbecoming of an officer and a gentlemen and other charges.
According to The Washington Post, Tomko’s issues mostly stem from his time in the Wounded Warrior Regiment, where his role of commander meant he was closely-tied with the Marines who reported him, including a Corporal he was charged with sexually harassing.
Tomko was ordered not to contact his wife -Lieutenant Colonel Liza Tomko- or consume alcohol after being charged from an inpatient mental health stay at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. Showing up drunk to his May 6th arraignment, he was charged with driving under the influence as well as violating his protective order.
A 33-year veteran of the Marines, Tomko was referred to as a “Marine’s Marine” by his peers, though it was often noted that his physical and mental health had declined following the loss of his command, with two doctors diagnosing the field officer with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder after he was relieved of his command at the Wounded Warrior Regiment.
Tomko previously commanded an infantry company during the initial days of the Afghanistan War before he was assigned to serve as a casualty assistance officer, becoming responsible for informing families that their loved ones were killed in the line of duty. Eventually, Tomko became commander of the Wounded Warrior Regiment.
“I’ve been clenching my fists my entire life,” Tomko said of his behavior toward the end of his trial. “I can’t tell you the number of times in my life I’ve been told I needed to get help, but how could I? The only thing I knew how to do was work hard.”
Tomko has been sentenced to two months imprisonment and a $20,000 fine, though he will only have to pay half as part of his plea arrangement. In addition to a reduced fine, Tomko will be forced to retire from the Marines. While his attorney was not satisfied with the outcome of the court-martial, he does not know if Tomko will appeal the decision.
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