Marine charged in groping incident

rlurye@islandpacket.comJanuary 31, 2014 

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A Marine was arrested Thursday and charged with assault after allegedly groping a woman at her home Jan. 11, according to the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office.

The 22-year-old man, a native of Lufkin, Texas, was a guest at a home in Burton's Forest Fields subdivision when he allegedly became intoxicated and grabbed a 22-year-old woman's breast, a report on the incident said.

The victim told the suspect to stop and pushed him away, but he reached for her again and tried to unbutton her pants, the report said. When the woman reached for a pocket knife, the suspect allegedly stopped and said, "You know I'm a Marine, don't you?"

The victim and a friend then drove the suspect back to the Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, Sgt. Robin McIntosh said.

The victim reported the incident to the Sheriff's Office Jan. 15, and the suspect was arrested Thursday, charged with second-degree assault and battery.

The Marine Corps Criminal Investigation Division is conducting its own inquiry into the Marine, air station spokesman Sgt. Marcy Sanchez said.

The Marine, a private first class, is being held at the Beaufort County Detention Center with bond set at $10,000.

Follow reporter Rebecca Lurye at twitter.com/IPBG_Rebecca.

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