US drill sergeant ‘ter­rorised’ re­cruits

Sunday Herald Sun - - NEWS -

A US Marine Corps drill in­struc­tor has been sen­tenced to 10 years in prison for chok­ing, punch­ing or oth­er­wise tor­ment­ing re­cruits, es­pe­cially three Mus­lims.

A mil­i­tary jury handed out the pun­ish­ment to Gun­nery Sgt Joseph Felix on Fri­day, a day af­ter con­vict­ing him of abus­ing more than 10 trainees at the Marine boot camp at Par­ris Is­land, South Carolina.

Among other things, he taunted the Mus­lims as “ter­ror­ists” and or­dered two of them to climb into an in­dus­trial clothes dryer, spin­ning one of them in the scorch­ing ma­chine un­til he re­nounced his faith, the jury de­cided.

Felix was a cen­tral fig­ure in what was found to be a group of abu­sive drill in­struc­tors at Par­ris Is­land. An in­ves­ti­ga­tion led to charges against him, five other drill in­struc­tors and a com­mand­ing of­fi­cer.

The charges against Felix in­cluded com­mand­ing re­cruits to choke each other, train­ing them un­til they vom­ited, and punch­ing re­cruits in the face or kick­ing them to the ground.

His de­fence coun­sel said he was “un­fairly tar­geted”. Felix was also de­moted to pri­vate and dis­hon­ourably dis­charged.

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