Several Camp Pendleton Marines Convicted on Sex Assault, Child Porn Charges, Records Show

Several Camp Pendleton-based Marines have been found guilty in recent weeks of crimes including rape and child pornography, with other similar cases still pending in the military criminal justice system, records show.

The cases are coming to light due to a series of Freedom of Information Act requests filed by the San Diego Union-Tribune over the past four months. Documents released by the Marines revealed that some of the most serious cases were tied to senior leaders like ex-Chief Warrant Officer E. DeLeon Jr.

At a Camp Pendleton court-martial last month, a military judge convicted DeLeon of possessing and distributing child pornography. The judge sentenced him to seven years behind bars, but a pretrial agreement capped his imprisonment at five years.

Highly redacted records trace DeLeon’s crimes back to Nov. 26, 2016, at Camp Pendleton, when he distributed a digital image of a child engaging in sex. Three days earlier, he had communicated to an unidentified person his desire to molest “a little girl,” an act he thought “sounds amazing,” according to his records.

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