A Camp Pendleton Marine accused of getting intercourse with a lacking 14-year-old woman who was present in his barracks final summer time will face court-martial, navy officers stated Wednesday.
The choice comes three months after a preliminary listening to for Pfc. Avery Rosario, whose case grabbed consideration after the woman’s aunt posted a TikTok video elevating questions and alleging the woman had been trafficked. The choice was made by Brig. Gen. Andrew Niebel, commanding common of 1st Marine Logistics Group.
Rosario is due in a Camp Pendleton court docket for arraignment Thursday. A trial date seemingly can be set at the moment, officers stated.
“As all the time, the command respects the authorized course of, the rights of the accused, in addition to some other people affected by the case,” reads an announcement issued by the first Marine Logistics Group. “We’ll proceed to launch data as transparently as attainable with out interfering with the authorized course of.”
Earlier this yr, Rosario was charged with sexual assault and violating liberty restrictions for leaving the bottom with out permission. The fees indicated the alleged crimes or violations occurred June 27. His preliminary listening to within the case was Aug. 17 at Camp Pendleton.
Rosario’s attorneys argued at that listening to that their shopper met the woman on Tinder — a courting app for adults — the place her profile stated she was 21 years previous. They stated Rosario believed she was in her early 20s, and that she had advised their shopper and his pals as a lot.
Navy police at Camp Pendleton discovered the woman in a barracks June 28. The navy notified the county Sheriff’s Division, and the woman was reunited along with her household.
Based on the Sheriff’s Division, the teenager’s grandmother stated the woman ran away from dwelling June 9. She had run away on earlier events however rapidly returned. This time, with the teenager nonetheless unaccounted for on June 13, the grandmother reported her lacking.
No witnesses have been known as in the course of the preliminary listening to, and far of the proof — which included conversations on Tinder and Instagram — was not proven.
As an alternative, the prosecution filed its proof immediately with the Marine colonel who was tasked with recommending whether or not Rosario ought to face court-martial for allegations of intercourse with a minor. That colonel than made his suggestion up the chain of command, however Wednesday’s assertion doesn’t point out what the colonel’s suggestions have been.
Proof filed by prosecutors included the woman’s Tinder profile and conversations she and the Marine had on the app. Protection proof included direct messages between their shopper and the woman.
Protection lawyer Capt. Katherine Malcolm stated her shopper had “a real perception that the lady he met on Tinder apps was 21 years previous.” Malcolm stated the woman’s profile acknowledged, “I do know I look younger, however hey once I’m 30, I will appear like I am in my 20s.”
Based on the protection, after the woman was present in Rosario’s room, she advised investigators she had been trafficked by a person for the final yr, and he or she supplied the person’s first identify. She advised them the person was “pulling the strings.” She stated her “entire plan” was to get caught whereas on base, and that when she was discovered she could be lastly secure.
Nevertheless, the protection argued, the woman’s credibility is at problem and her actions “weren’t the actions of anyone seeking to be rescued.”
Prosecutors didn’t make an oral argument in the course of the listening to. That, too, was filed on to the colonel overseeing the preliminary listening to.
This story initially appeared in San Diego Union-Tribune.
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