In a case that continues to embarrass both the Marine Special Operations Command (MARSOC) and Naval Special Warfare Command (NSWC), military prosecutors are seeking to add rape charges in the plethora of indictments that have pilled up against a Marine Raider and Navy SEAL accused of murdering a Green Beret.
More specifically, Gunnery Sergeant Mario Madera-Rodriguez and Special Warfare Operator 1st Class Anthony DeDolph are suspected of seeking to sexually harass Staff Sergeant Logan Melgar during the assault that left the Special Forces operator dead in Bamako, Mali in 2017. The idea behind their sexual assault was to embarrass Staff Sgt Melgar beyond all measure – they intended to record the incident on tape after they had beat the Green Beret unconscious.
The two operators were joined by an additional Marine Raider and Navy SEAL during the incident. Staff Sgt. Kevin Maxwell and Chief Special Warfare Operator Adam Matthews, however, have already pleaded guilty of the charges – the rape charges excluding – in an attempt to reduce the severity of their sentence. If found guilty, Gunnery Sgt. Madera-Rodriguez and SO1 DeDolph face life in prison.
The two SEALs were assigned to the Naval Special Warfare Development Group (DEVGRU), another title for SEAL Team 6, and the two Marine Raiders were part of the Marine Special Operations Command (MARSOC). Aside from the rape accusations, the four operators were charged with felony murder, involuntary manslaughter, conspiracy obstruction of justice, hazing, and burglary.
The revelation comes only days after the top Navy SEAL issued a letter to his subordinates drawing attention to the cataract of professionalism and ethics issues that have plagued NSWC for the past years.
Alongside Staff Sgt. Melgar, the four commandos were part of a joint Special Operations team deployed in the Malian capital in order to provide counterterrorism and intelligence-gathering capabilities to the American Embassy.
Previously, the widow of Staff Sergeant Melgar widow had commented on the case and said the following to NEWSREP:
“I fully support SOCOM, NCIS, and the prosecutors. It is important to me that we continue to support all of our Special Operators and their efforts to work together. The actions of these individuals is not a direct reflection on the organizations themselves. I am grateful for the continued support that SOCOM has shown me and my family throughout the investigation.”
As the legal saga continues, more details about the incident are bound to come to light, and hopefully Special Operations Command (SOCOM) will be able to implement measures to eradicate this type of behavior.
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