Camp Pendleton Marine charged with sexual assault of a minor

The missing 14-year-old girl had been found in barracks in June.

August 11, 2023, 7:50 PM

An unidentified U.S. Marine stationed at Camp Pendleton, California, has been charged with the sexual assault of a minor following the discovery of a missing 14-year-old girl at the base barracks in June, officials said.

"Military prosecutors have charged the Marine with allegations of sexual assault of a minor and violating liberty restriction from a prior, unrelated case," said Capt. Charles Palmer, a spokesman for the 1st Marine Logistics Group at Camp Pendleton.

Palmer said the command scheduled a preliminary hearing for Aug. 17 at Camp Pendleton.

"After the preliminary hearing, the command will review all charges and evidence to determine whether the case should be tried by court-martial," said Palmer.

"To protect the integrity of the ongoing investigation and the rights of the subject, further information is unavailable until this decision is made," he added. "As a reminder, charges remain allegations, and all service members are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty."

In July, the unidentified Marine had been released after questioning by investigators from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service following the June 28 discovery of a missing 14-year-old girl at a barracks at Camp Pendleton. The girl had gone missing on June 10, according to family members.

Family members of the 14-year-old girl alleged in social media posts that she had been sexually assaulted by a Marine at the base.

No details about the Marine's identity were released on Friday, but previously a Marine had been identified as belonging to the Combat Logistics Battalion 5, 1st Marine Logistics Group based at Camp Pendleton.

Palmer had also confirmed that the Marine was the male shown in a video posted on social media which showed a Marine in handcuffs being escorted by military police outside of a barracks at the base.