By Debbie Gregory.
In two unrelated stories with a related theme, two members of the military have been court martialed for crimes against children.
Spc. Nicholas Marcum, a 28-year-old soldier who was stationed at Fort Wainwright, Alaska was sentenced to 20 years for raping a 15-year-old girl, according to a U.S. Army spokesperson. Marcum was convicted on one specification of “forcible rape of a child,” according to the Army. He will be confined at the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, the military’s only maximum-security correctional facility.
The rape occurred on Fort Wainwright in 2014. Marcum was a friend of the girl’s family, and was also accused of giving alcohol to the girl.
Naval officer and Top Gun graduate Lt. Daniel Chase Harris was sentenced to 50 years in prison on charges he coerced nine underage girls into sending him explicit photos and videos of themselves. A federal jury convicted Harris on 31 felonies, including 13 counts of production of child pornography and two counts of obstruction of justice.
Harris threatened a 14-year-old girl who sent him a topless selfie with public humiliation if she refused more explicit instructions. He was accused of similar threats to eight other girls in the U.S. and in Japan.
While awaiting trial, Harris used a false name to draft a letter claiming that he had been framed. While awaiting sentencing, he wrote to the Chinese Embassy offering to trade his military expertise for help in breaking out of jail.
According to court testimony and documents, Harris’ victims did not know him by name. He used aliases to pose as teenage boys and to flirt with the girls. Prosecutors argued he used aliases to contact the girls between 2011 and 2013 while he was stationed in Virginia Beach, Florida, South Carolina, Japan, Guam, and Fallon, Nev., which is home to the Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center and Top Gun.
The youngest victim was 12 when she met Harris online in 2013.
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Bringing Shame on the Military: Military Connection: by Debbie Gregory