An unnamed staff sergeant is scheduled to appear for an Article 32 hearing on Jan. 5.
Staff Sgt. Matthew T. Bacchus’ and Sgt. Riley R. Gress’ arraignments are slated for Jan. 6.
All proceedings will take place at Marine Corps Base Quantico in Virginia, according to a news release from the Corps’ Training and Education Command. “All Marines are presumed innocent until proven guilty,” according to the release.
Bacchus and Gress face special courts-martial.
Bacchus is charged with violating Uniform Code of Military Justice Articles 92 (“failure to obey a lawful general order”), 93 (“cruelty and maltreatment”) and 107 (“false official statement”).
Gress is accused of the same violations but, in regard to Article 92, the description specifies “violation of a lawful general order.”
The unnamed staff sergeant, whose Article 32 hearing is required because his case is being considered for general court-martial — the highest level military court — is also accused of the same UCMJ violations.
Maj. Gen. James W. Lukeman, commander of Training and Education Command, awaits the recommendations of that hearing before deciding how to proceed. The decision is ultimately his, and he has at his disposal several courses of action — one being a general court-martial — for handling the case.
A fourth Marine, Staff Sgt. Jose Lucena-Martinez, has not yet had his arraignment scheduled.
In September, the Corps announced that up to 20 drill instructors and leadership personnel could face charges. The first of those charges — and the first accused Marines — were announced last week.
The Corps says none of the charges are related to the death of Raheel Siddiqui, a Muslim American recruit of Pakistani descent who died March 18 after falling three stories on Parris Island. The Corps has ruled his death a suicide. His parents and family attorney Shiraz Khan dispute that claim. The Naval Criminal Investigative Service is still looking into the matter.
Siddiqui was reportedly hazed and abused during his 11 days at the depot. In the wake of his death, three Corps investigations into allegations of hazing and recruit abuse — specifically within 3rd Recruit Training Battalion — have been linked.
Bacchus and Gress have both deployed to Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom, according to the Corps. They served as drill instructors in 3rd Battalion, Company K, Platoon 3009 in January, according to a Parris Island graduation announcement. Bacchus also served as a drill instructor in 3rd Battalion platoons in 2014 and 2015.
Lucena-Martinez was the drill instructor for Company K, Platoon 3012 in January. In 2010 he deployed to Haiti as part of Operation Unified Response after an earthquake rocked that country.
The unnamed staff sergeant’s current billet and past service history are not being released at this time, according to Training and Education Command Spokesman Capt. Joshua Pena.
The specific times for the proceedings will be announced on Quantico’s legal docket in the new year.
They will be open to the media and the public.