Three Marines involved in the hazing scandal at Parris Island in South Carolina are facing court-martial for abuse allegations. A fourth unnamed Marine will appear before an Article 32 hearing, which is similar to a preliminary hearing in civilian court, for charges related to the hazing accusations.
Staff Sgt. Matthew T. Bacchus is charged with maltreatment, violation of a lawful order, and making a false official statement. Sgt. Riley R. Gress is charged with maltreatment, failure to obey a lawful order, and making a false official statement. Staff Sgt. Jose Lucena-Martinez is being charged with failure to obey a lawful general order and making a false official statement. All three Marines face up to one year in confinement and a bad conduct discharge.
The fourth Marine facing an Article 32 is having their name withheld by TECOM. He is facing charges of cruelty and maltreatment, failure to obey a lawful general order and making a false official statement. The result of this proceeding will determine whether this Marine will face court martial.
The alleged mistreatment and abuse of recruits at Parris Island was brought to light when a Muslim Marine recruit, Raheel Siddiqui, committed suicide by jumping 40 feet to his death in a barracks stairwell. Siddiqui reportedly killed himself after being slapped by a drill instructor. A report conducted after his death found that drill instructors of the 3rd Recruit Training Battalion, where Siddiqui was assigned, often used chokes and slapped recruits as a form of “drill corrections.”
The four Marines facing charges were not involved in the death of Raheel Siddiqui and are facing charges levied by other recruits.