Ma­rine drill in­struc­tor jailed for abuse

Sunday Mail - - WORLD -

AN Amer­i­can Ma­rine Corps drill in­struc­tor has been jailed for 10 years for chok­ing, punch­ing and tor­ment­ing re­cruits, es­pe­cially three Mus­lims – one of whom killed him­self by leap­ing down a stair­well.

A mil­i­tary jury yes­ter­day handed out the pun­ish­ment to Gun­nery Sergeant Joseph Felix over abus­ing more than a dozen trainees at boot camp in Par­ris Is­land, South Carolina.

Among other things, he taunted the Mus­lims as “ter­ror­ists” or “ISIS” and or­dered them to climb into a clothes dryer, spin­ning one of them around un­til he re­nounced his faith.

Felix, a 34-year-old Iraq veteran, was also or­dered to for­feit pay, de­moted to pri­vate and given a dis­hon­ourable dis­charge. He was a cen­tral fig­ure in what was found to be a group of abu­sive drill in­struc­tors at Par­ris Is­land.

Af­ter the March 2016 sui­cide of one of the Mus­lims, 20-yearold Pak­istani-Amer­i­can Ra­heel Sid­diqui, a haz­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tion led to charges against Felix, five other in­struc­tors and the com­mand­ing of­fi­cer. Eleven oth­ers faced lesser dis­ci­pline.

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

“He wasn’t mak­ing Marines, he was break­ing Marines,” prose­cu­tor Lieu­tenant Colonel John Norman told the jury.

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