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Marine recruit extradited on sexual abuse charges

BEAUFORT -- A recruit in training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island will be extradited from the Beaufort County Detention Center to Alabama, where he faces sex abuse charges.

Matthew Mork, 19, of Birmingham, Ala., was arrested by the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office on Tuesday as a fugitive from justice on a warrant issued by the Cullman County Sheriff's Office in Cullman, Ala., a city 50 miles north of Birmingham.

Mork has been charged with sexual abuse of a child younger than 12 and first-degree sodomy, said investigator Lisa McSwain of the Cullman County Sheriff's Office.

The crimes Mork is accused of occurred before he was sent to boot camp at Parris Island, she said.

If the Marine Corps had been aware of these charges, Mork would not have been allowed to enlist, said Lt. Josiah Nicely, Parris Island spokesman.

"His enlistment, therefore, is viewed as being void," he said. "He has been separated from the Marine Corps. We have no further contact with this individual."

Given the early stage of Mork's criminal proceedings, Nicely said any future the former recruit might have with the Corps is unknown.

"As he has been charged but not convicted of a crime, it would be improper to speculate what his status of eligibility will be when this is done," he said. "The alleged conduct was prior to joining the Marine Corps, so this is really a civil/criminal matter rather than a military one. Mr. Mork is no longer a recruit at Parris Island."

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