Col. T. Shane "Rhino" Tomko also pleaded guilty to using a subordinate to secure testosterone, violating a military protective order not to contact his wife, and showing up drunk to his May 6 arraignment.
Tomko appeared to be close to a panic attack after the verdict was read. His military attorney, Maj. Geoff Shows, tried to calm him down by assuring him he would only spend a few weeks in the brig, since the time he spent in jail for violating the terms of his pretrial agreement would be counted toward his sentence.
During the court-martial, Tomko admitted to having an inappropriate relationship a female corporal in his command between May 2014 and August 2015. The two had exchanged text and Facebook messages that contained sexual content.
The relationship prompted an investigation, which led to his relief as commander of the Wounded Warrior Battalion in February 2015.
"Colonel Tomko needs help, not confinement," Shows said.
But prosecutor Lt. Col. Pete Houtz argued that Tomko needed to be held accountable for his actions, and that the case wasn't about PTSD.
"If he's let out of confinement now … more than likely there will be more misconduct," Houtz said.
Col. Shane Tomko, the commanding officer of the Wounded Warrior Regiment addresses the Marine Corps Team following their victory over Army in wheelchair basketball at the 2014 Warrior Games in Colorado.
Photo Credit: Staff
"That's the only way you can know them," he said. "You know them by loving them."
"You can't unsee what I've seen," Tomko said. "How do you tell your wife, 'Honey, I killed a bunch of people today?'"
"Your body breaks down," Tomko said. "You just hurt."
Tomko worked so hard that when his mother was dying, he waited for permission to go on leave to see her until he got a call from his father saying she was gone, he said.
"I just feel like I've been fighting my whole life," Tomko said. "I'm tired. I just want to unclench my fists. I just want to touch my wife gentle and figure out a way to get her to love me again."
Before he took command of the Wounded Warrior Battalion, Tomko served as the operations officer of the North Carolina-based 2nd Marine Division. He enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1983, and later earned his commission and became an infantry and special operations officer.