Marines Under Investigation After Autistic Man Allowed to Enlist

Not knowing Fry was in Colorado, Teson called his house and spoke with Mary Beth Fry, who claims according to the court document, that she told the recruiter her grandson was autistic and had "extreme behavioral problems."

"He is not Marine material. Please take him off the list," the grandmother told Teson, according to the document.

But when Fry contacted Teson about enlistment on Jan. 4, 2008, just a few months after returning to California, Teson allegedly drove to pick up Fry from the group home for the mentally disabled where Fry was living.

The motion indicates Fry told Teson that he was autistic and asthmatic and that his grandmother had limited conservatorship over him.

"While assisting Fry in filing out the paperwork Teson instructed Fry that 'if we don't put yes, then they don't know,'" the document states regarding Teson's alleged knowledge of Fry's medical and legal complication.

Ten days later Fry was at boot camp.

On Day 13, he was caught repeatedly stealing peanut butter from the chow hall despite being admonished for doing so earlier and urinated in his canteen. He was also found to be disrespectful to his drill instructors and refused to shave or follow orders.

On Day 14, according to the motion, Fry told his senior drill instructor and staff that he had both autism and asthma and he no longer wished to be a Marine. After the Marines confirmed Fry's claims with Mary Beth Fry, she was told her grandson would be kicked out of boot camp and sent home.

But Fry wasn't sent home. Instead, he was graduated from boot camp on April 11, 2008, and sent for combat training at Camp Pendleton near San Diego.

Marines 'Target a Very Specific Individual'

Though the Marines have a reputation for being the most stringent of the Armed Forces, Maj. Christopher Logan, director of public affairs for the Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego and spokesman for the Western recruiting region, said the Marines are simply looking for a very specific type of recruit.

"We target a very specific individual," he said. "We're looking for the very driven individual to live up to the challenge."

Logan said he was not allowed to comment on the specifics of Fry's performance, but he did note that Fry was able to graduate from boot camp and "our training is extremely difficult."

But if Fry's time at boot camp was rough, his stint at Pendleton was even worse.

On May 26, according to the court document, Fry was found to have inappropriate images on his cell phone. The court document said Fry was subjected to five hours of interrogation and verbally ordered not to possess any similar images.

But more inappropriate images -- deemed to be child pornography from the charges leveled by military court -- were found again on July 18, 2008 and July 26, 2008 on his computer and cell phone, court documents state. That along with two instances of Fry allegedly going "UA," Marine shorthand for taking an unauthorized absence from his command, resulted in his arrest.

An additional charge of deliberate concealment was added in February, claiming fraudulent enlistment based on Fry's failure to disclose prior psychiatric treatment for a desire to look at child pornography.

Mary Beth Fry declined to comment on her grandson's enlistment or imprisonment, saying she had been advised by his lawyer, Michael Studenka, not to talk about the case. A woman who answered the phone at Studenka's office said there would be no comment on Fry's case.

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