A Marine recruiter in North Carolina has been charged with sexually assaulting two teen recruits, according to local media reports.
Sergeant Derek Craig Percival remains in jail on charges of attempted second-degree rape, involuntary servitude, sexual battery, and communicating threats, according to local authorities.
Percival was reportedly arrested at his apartment — which he shares with his wife and two children — on Saturday. Officials reported that the alleged assaults took place at a Marine recruiting office in Salisbury, a suburb of Charlotte, and at Percival’s apartment.
One of the alleged victims — an unnamed 17-year-old — said that she had met Percival, 24, four or five times about possibly joining the Marine Corps. She had also gone to his apartment for a party in September, she added. The alleged victim added that she stayed overnight at his apartment last week, while his family was there, when she and other recruits reportedly could not get a ride home.
She reported to officials that early Sunday morning, he forced her to have oral sex with him and threatened to kill her if she told anyone. His wife and children were reportedly in the home at the time.
“He said, ‘If you don’t let me, I’m going to rape you,’” she told local news. “And I said, ‘No you’re not, just go away, just stop.’”
Another recruit, an 18-year-old friend of the first alleged victim, told the station that Percival had asked her to show her breasts and give him oral sex when she visited the recruiting office.
A Marine spokesperson, Capt. Joseph Reney, reported to NBC News that the Corps is cooperating with local authorities in their investigation into the matter, and will conduct an internal investigation in addition.
“I can tell you that this isolated situation does not reflect the entirety of Marine Corps recruiting, ” Reney said. “The Marine Corps holds its Marine to a high standard and we will uphold that standard.”
Percival has an attorney, and has not yet entered a plea in the charges.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta reportedly ordered a review of all military policies and procedures regarding sexual assault and harassment, in an effort to put a stop to the growing problem of sexual assault in the military.
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