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David Pierce, former Coast Guardsman wins appeal.

BARNSTABLE — David Pierce, the former Coast Guard master chief petty officer convicted of rape, remains a free man pending an appeal before the state’s highest court.

Pierce, 46, of Sandwich stood before Judge Gary Nickerson in Barnstable Superior Court yesterday to see whether he would be sent to prison to begin serving his three- to four-year state prison sentence. In August, the Massachusetts Appeals Court upheld Pierce’s conviction, but his attorney told Nickerson he has filed an appeal with the state Supreme Judicial Court.

“I am going to allow the process to play itself out,” said Nickerson, who granted the rare stay. Pierce was convicted by a jury of rape in February 2009, but Nickerson freed him on $50,000 cash bail because of the likelihood that Pierce would be successful in winning a new trial, according to court records.

At issue in the appeal is Nickerson’s decision to exclude cross examination of the woman by Pierce’s attorney, James Merberg, about an alleged pattern by the woman of accusing men of abuse at the end of relationships.

During the trial, the woman testified that Pierce raped her on two occasions in a jealous rage. The rape kit, a term used for the collection of evidence in a sexual assault case, showed no semen despite testimony by the woman that she had been penetrated and Pierce ejaculated, according to the court transcript.

Pierce never testified on his own behalf, but he told the police that bruises on his accuser’s body were from a tickle fight that also involved his children.

Prosecutor Thomas Shack argued that Pierce should begin serving his prison sentence because his chances of winning a new trial are “very limited” given the Appeals Court decision to uphold the jury verdict.

The SJC should decide in the next couple of weeks whether to hear the case, Merberg said. “I don’t see what the harm would be” in continuing the stay, Merberg said, noting that Pierce has met all of the conditions of his bail.

Shack criticized public comments made about the case. “Over the last year and a half, the victim has continued to be pilloried by statements in the press,” he said.

But Nickerson said he can only put conditions on Pierce, not his family members. “I can not muzzle his relatives,” the judge said.

In a story published in June, James Pierce, David’s father and a Sandwich selectman, said his son was falsely accused. “Please pay particular attention to the account of a full day’s testimony the jury was not allowed to hear,” David Pierce wrote in an e-mail. “That testimony dealt with several other occasions in several other states and Massachusetts where the alleged victim, who was over 40 years old, made similar accusations against several other men.”

As they left the court together yesterday, David and James Pierce both declined comment.

5 thoughts on “David Pierce, former Coast Guardsman wins appeal.”

  1. I was raped by Pierce when he was a Chief and I was an E-4. The Coast Guard laughed at me and said that I was crazy. Then he went on a was convicted of raping his ex girlfriend. He is a VERY sick man that is not going to stop raping woman. I give it 6 months before he is convicted of raping someone else.

  2. David Pierce is a sicko. He ran all his units down by his bad leadership. He belongs in prison if not for this rape then for all that he did to discredit the Coast Guard when he was still in. We tried to report it but the Coast Guard looked the other way. When he was convicted I was elated. Now I am disappointed once again in the judicial system.

  3. The father of the abuser seems to minimize/deflect/blame above, last I heard those were domestic violence tactics of an abuser…hmmm sounds like the son learned a lot from his father. It seems that over and over again we hear the victims being criminalized instead of the abusers. Pierce states above that bruises on his accuser’s body were from a tickle fight that also involved his children. Gee…..I don’t remember ever playing tickle fight that left bruises on anyone…..what was he tickling her with, a bat? Men need to learn accountability, PERIOD!

  4. This is the story of a man that entered the Coast Guard at a very young age, probably straight out of high school. Enlisting at the age of 18 or 19 is a very dangerous thing cause your mind is not fully developed yet-which is a positive thing for the Coast Guard cause it is easier for them to manipulate and “brain wash” you but not good for the individual that in addition to learning the ‘military ways’ they are also learning hatred, misogyny, and traits that can lead to the disorder of hyper masculinity. If one was raised properly they can enlist at the age of 18 or 19 and be very successful but in this case if even the father of the abuser if blaming the victim you can tell that the abuser does not come from the best of families.

    Blaming the victim is beyond common in the Coast Guard, I know several women that report being raped by their own shipmates and 2 were told that they were straight out lying and that CGIS won’t investigate, one was forced to remain on the same ship for at least 2 years with the man that raped her with repeated acts of rapes going on in those 2 years. Another victim reported rape, was severely injured (bruises, broken tooth, etc..) and instead of sending her to the hospital they locked her up in a janitor closet while a BMC “investigated” it and when she demanded that CGIS get involved they turned it around and said she was “just being difficult” and “it was all her fault”. To make matters worse Master Chief Motyka who was not at all involved in the case (it happened in different districts) went on-line and posted all this degrading things about the victim FOUR YEARS AFTER SHE LEFT THE SERVICE. This is what the 18 and 19 years old entering the service and seeing their “role models” and command doing to rape victims and if they haven’t been raised with values or to respect women they think that is how all women who been victimized should be treated cause why will an E-2 or E-3 doubt an E-9?

    David Pierce probably went his entire Coast Guard life blaming the victim and think that women who are victims are at fault-he does not see his violence and abusive behavior to be the problem cause in his entire Coast Guard career it was never the abuser fault and the abuser was never punished. Even experts said that what the Coast Guard claims is a “zero-tolerance” policy has been proven to be victim-blaming so the problem is coming even from headquarters. Somebody even said that she reported a rape by David Pierce when David Pierce was an E-7 and those allegations went no where.

    I think any woman that comes forward and report abuse against a member of the Coast Guard regardless if the victim is in the Coast Guard or a civilian, is a very brave individual and we should be thankful for them to come forward even knowing how they would be blamed regardless of how much evidence that they have against the abuser. Most women do not report what happened to them cause they know that they won’t be believed so they suffer in silence often having to see and/or work under the abuser for years to come.

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