A Marine has been charged with sexual assault of a minor after a 14-year-old girl was found in the military barracks of a Southern California Marine Corps base.
According to a statement from U.S. Marine officials, a preliminary hearing has been scheduled for Thursday for the unidentified Marine at Camp Pendleton, located about 40 miles north of San Diego.
“Military prosecutors have charged the Marine with allegations of sexual assault of a minor and violating liberty restriction from a prior unrelated case,” the statement said. “After the preliminary hearing, the command will review all charges and evidence to determine whether the case should be tried by court-martial.”
The 14-year-old girl was discovered in the barracks on June 28. The girl’s grandmother reported her missing on June 13, telling authorities that she had run away from home four days earlier.
The girl’s aunt, however, claimed in a series of TikTok videos that the victim was “sold to a soldier for sex.”
No further information will be released until the decision on whether the case should be tried by court-martial is made, Marine officials said.
The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department and the San Diego Human Trafficking Task Force are assisting the Naval Criminal Investigative Service with the investigation.