A canned Camp Lejeune senior enlisted leader was carrying on an affair and had a child with a woman who claimed she didn't know he was married, according to an internal Marine Corps investigation obtained by Marine Corps Times.

Sgt. Maj. Darryl Cherry was fired in October 2016 as the top enlisted Marine in the 2nd Marine Logistics Group. The commanding general, Brig. Gen. David Maxwell, cited a lack of confidence and trust in Cherry's leadership.

The investigation found that Cherry met the woman in early 2015 and they began a sexual relationship that fall after months of Cherry pursuing her. But during the course of a nearly yearlong relationship, Cherry became increasingly abusive, the woman told investigators.

During the investigation, Cherry denied ever threatening or being abusive toward her. Much of the investigation is a "he said, she said" account of an extramarital relationship gone sour. 

The woman was a professional colleague whose name and title was redacted from the Marine Corps report, which was released under a Freedom of Information Act request.

Marine Corps Times' attempts to reach Cherry for comment on the investigation and the allegations were unsuccessful.

Cherry claimed he was not dating the woman, but characterized the relationship as a friendship that occasionally included sex, according to the investigation. The woman disagreed, saying they were dating and that Cherry threatened her.

Cherry refused to wear a condom during sex, the woman alleged, and the relationship took a dramatic turn when she became pregnant; Cherry asked her to have an abortion, but she refused, the investigation said.

The situation was further complicated by the fact that Cherry, a geo-bachelor, was married — something the woman claimed that she did not know. Cherry told investigators that he never tried to hide his marital status, but the woman told investigators that wasn't true.

"At no time did Sgt. Maj. Cherry mention he was married, did he wear a wedding ring, have a picture of his wife in his office during 2015, or have a picture of his wife in his home in 2015; there was also no mention of her in his biography," the woman wrote in a statement.

It wasn’t until Cherry took his wife to the annual Marine Corps Birthday Ball that the woman found out he was married. When confronted on the matter, Cherry said he was separated and didn’t intend to get back together with his wife, according to the investigation.

As the relationship dragged on and rumors began spreading at the command that Cherry had fathered a child with the women, he became emotionally abusive and tried to pressure her to keep quiet about their relationship in exchange for child support payments, the woman alleged.

She said that Cherry impregnated her a second time and then pressured her to have an abortion, the investigation said. The pregnancy ended when the woman had a miscarriage, however, the report said.

The harassment escalated to the point where Cherry’s wife, after discovering the relationship, began calling the woman and at one point threatened to "beat her ass," the investigation alleged.

At that, the woman drove to 2nd MLG headquarters to report the relationship and that Cherry was the father of her son. She also reported the alleged threat from Cherry’s wife to the local sheriff’s department, as well as the harassing phone calls from Cherry.

Shortly thereafter, Cherry was relieved of his post.

Records show that Cherry is making regular child support payments to his former lover, according to the investigation.

Click to read the investigation.

Staff writer Jeff Schogol contributed to this report.

David B. Larter was the naval warfare reporter for Defense News. Before that, he reported for Navy Times.

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