A Marine colonel at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, has been charged with sexually assaulting a child and related offenses, the Marine Corps announced on Wednesday.
Col. Daniel Wilson, 55, faces charges that include sexual assault and sexual abuse of a child; assault consummated by battery on a child under the age of 16; failure to obey a general order or regulation and conduct unbecoming of an officer, according to a news release from II Marine Expeditionary Force.
The Naval Criminal Investigative Service continues to investigate the allegations of sexual misconduct against Wilson, who is not in pretrial custody, according to the news release.
Wilson's two military defense attorneys, Lt. Col. Ben Ackison and Capt. Mark McCormick, declined to comment on Thursday about the case, said II MEF spokesman Lt. Col. Michael Armistead.
Wilson became II MEF's operations officer on April 30. He was reassigned to administrative duties after II MEF and the NCIS began investigating him.
A date has not been set for Wilson's upcoming Article 32 hearing, at which a preliminary hearing officer will recommend to the commanding general whether Wilson should go before a court-martial, whether he should receive administrative action, or if the charges against him should be dropped, Armistead said.
Wilson has completed 11 deployments since entering the Marine Corps in 1981, the news release says. He became a colonel in 2010, and his military awards include the Bronze Star, Legion of Merit, the Defense Superior Service Medal and the Meritorious Service Medal.
He co-authored a July 2005 article in the Marine Corps Gazette about the second battle of Fallujah, which praised the fighting spirit of the Marines who retook the city from the extremist group known as al-Qaida in Iraq.
"We were honored and privileged to have had the opportunity to serve with the soldiers, sailors, airmen, Special Forces, Marines, and Iraqi soldiers who selflessly gave their all to liberate Fallujah," the article says. "'Remember Fallujah' is no longer the rallying cry of the insurgency. Our warriors took that from them and made it our rallying cry."