A Marine stationed at Camp Pendleton in Southern California has been charged with sexual assault of a minor, military officials announced Friday.
The Marine, whose name was not immediately released, was also charged with violating liberty restrictions from a prior, unrelated case, according to a statement obtained by CBS News Friday from a spokesperson for the base, which is located north of San Diego.
This comes after the Marinefor questioning by naval investigators when a female minor was found in the Camp Pendleton barracks on June 28, “as seen on a number of social media posts on and after July 2,” the base had reported in a previous statement.
The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department said the teenager ran away from home on June 9. The teen was found in late June inside Camp Pendleton and returned to her grandmother, the sheriff’s department said.
In a TikTok video posted online, a woman identifying herself as the girl’s aunt, Casaundra Perez, said her niece had “been sold to a soldier for sex.” The family asserted the Marines were trying to cover up the sexual assault.
The spokesperson said in Friday’s statement that “after the preliminary hearing the command will review all charges and evidence to determine whether the case should be tried by court martial.”
The command has scheduled the preliminary hearing for Aug. 17 in Camp Pendleton.
— Eleanor Watson contributed to this report.