Marine sgt. cleared of assault in recruit abuse
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    Exclamation Marine sgt. cleared of assault in recruit abuse

    Marine sgt. cleared of assault in recruit abuse
    Convicted of lesser charge in key-throwing incident
    The Associated Press
    Posted : Wednesday Sep 12, 2007 8:16:32 EDT

    SAN DIEGO — A Marine drill instructor accused of kicking, punching and spitting on recruits for their mistakes was acquitted of assault charges but convicted of violating an order about the treatment of recruits.

    The military jury on Tuesday also cleared Sgt. Mark A. Delarosa, 25, of Hemet of a cruelty charge and charges of lying to officers and using provoking speech.

    Delarosa, whose sentencing hearing was scheduled for Wednesday, was accused of kicking a recruit in the shin for failing to properly greet an instructor.

    The conviction for violating an order involved an incident in which he threw a set of keys at a recruit, striking him in the eye.

    Delarosa’s lawyer, Capt. Patrick Callahan, said his client was trying to toughen up the recruits to prepare them for war.

    He is the first of four drill instructors to go on trial on charges of abusing recruits.


  2. #2
    Marine kicked, hit recruits, court-martial told
    The drill instructor also forced an injured man to exercise, according to testimony. He faces a year in the brig if convicted.
    By Tony Perry, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
    September 11, 2007
    SAN DIEGO -- A drill instructor whose motto was "pain retains" kicked, hit and cursed recruits and forced an injured recruit to perform strenuous exercises that made his injury worse, a Marine prosecutor alleged Monday at the instructor's court-martial.

    Sgt. Mark A. Delarosa made a recruit with a fractured ankle repeatedly stomp his foot and taunted him with, "Does it hurt? Good. I don't care. Stomp your feet," the prosecutor told the jury at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot.

    Delarosa's defense attorney, though denying the specific allegations against Delarosa, conceded that he was a tough drill instructor.

    "Sgt. Delarosa was intense as a drill instructor because we are at war," said Capt. Patrick Callahan. "Marines graduate from here and go to Iraq. Marines are dying in Iraq.

    "Sgt. Delarosa never wanted to have to tell a wife or mother that a Marine had died in Iraq because Sgt. Delarosa failed to properly train that recruit," Callahan said.

    Capt. Brent Stricker, the lead prosecutor, said Delarosa improperly used pain to correct mistakes by his recruits and broke Marine Corps regulations that prohibit striking or degrading recruits or making them do exercises sure to cause injury.

    Delarosa, 25, an Iraq veteran, is the first of four drill instructors to go on trial. Charged with assault, false statements and other crimes, he faces a maximum of a year in the brig and a bad-conduct discharge if convicted.

    The jury is made up of two officers and two staff sergeants.

    Jared Arvanitas of Utah, who left boot camp because of an injury allegedly inflicted by Delarosa, said Delarosa kicked him in the shin when he failed to line up properly. The injury got worse, he said, when Delarosa later forced him to perform rigorous exercises.

    Arvanitas, who left the Marines, said he soured on the corps when other drill instructors coerced him into not seeing a doctor for his injury, which would have led to an official report about the cause.

    "They injured me and told me to keep my mouth shut about it," he said.

    Stricker said that one Marine would testify that Delarosa threw keys at him, striking him in the eye, and another Marine would say Delarosa hit him in the chest and then said, "I hate you, I wish I could hurt you all the time."

    Callahan said Delarosa plans to testify. He said Delarosa would tell the court that, during the period when he allegedly mistreated recruits, he was consumed by news about Marines being killed in Iraq.

    Callahan said the trial's outcome may affect the future role of the Marine drill instructor.

    "This is the Marine Corps," he said. "This is not the Air Force, this is not the Army. We train recruits hard."


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