A Marine Corps recruiter is under investigation after he published a self-published memoir detailing his sexual relationship with a young potential recruit.
Gunnery Sgt. Christopher Champagne, 36, published the memoir last month in which he described his “scandalous love affair” with a “young woman … who wanted in.” [the military]”, which sparked a Marine Corps investigation, according to a report from Military.com.
In excerpts from the book, reviewed by Military.com before it was taken offline, the Marine Corps recruiter detailed the story of sexual encounters he had with a young female recruit in Texas “who needed her parents’ approval, to join the military,” a clue The recruit was probably under 18 years old.
According to the report, a spokesman for Champagne’s recruiting command said the recruiter had been removed from his post pending the results of an investigation that resulted directly from the publication of the memoir.
An undergraduate student listens to a U.S. Marine Corps recruiter during a Marine recruiting presentation Dec. 1, 2005, on the Rutgers University campus in New Brunswick, New Jersey. (Photo by Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images)
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“The type of behavior we are talking about is absolutely not representative of Recruiting Station Fort Worth, the 8th Marine Corps Recruiting District or the Marine Corps as a whole,” said Capt. Bryanna Kessler.
“We don’t support people who don’t fit our… ethos,” she added. “And if people are unwilling to comply, they will no longer be welcome to serve in our ranks. … This is not representative of what we believe in as an institution.”
The young recruit, who was not named publicly, was referred to in the book as “Cosette,” a seemingly fictitious name change by Champagne, who boasted that he was telling a “true story,” but some details were changed, such as: as a name.
“My memoir is a true story about a scandalous love affair,” says the Kickstarter campaign. “Cosette was a much younger woman with an affinity for older men, but we bonded over conversations about overcoming suicide, assault and abuse.”
In the book, Champagne describes herself as newly divorced and suffering from depression that once led to a suicide attempt.
A US military recruiting station is pictured in Times Square in New York City. (Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket via Getty Images)
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“I felt like I had lost so much, but a relationship with Cosette would mean risking everything,” the book’s description reads, according to Military.com.
In the book, Champagne described how he was once “presented with a no-contact order for Cosette and her father” and “learned that I was being investigated for sexual harassment and sexual assault.” Elsewhere in the book, Champagne described the young recruit as a “gift” from another recruiter, explaining how he exchanged messages with her on social media and that Cosette stayed with him “three or four nights a week.”
Champage also wrote that the young recruit would tell her parents that she was seeing a boyfriend and also described having to hide “the fact that he was having unprotected sex with her.” The former recruiter also wrote that he was “willing to risk my career to save and protect her,” noting that their relationship was something “we could never have.”
The report noted that military recruiters are typically required to sign a Prohibited Activities Acknowledgment that prohibits those serving in that capacity from “developing.”[ing]try to develop or lead[ing] personal, intimate or sexual relationships with a recruit.
“This includes, but is not limited to, dating, holding hands, kissing, hugging, caressing, and sexual activity,” the form typically states.
A group of male U.S. Marine Corps recruits train with weighted ammunition cans during a physical training exercise at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton)
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According to Kessler, the Marines were also able to contact the young recruit’s family to ensure “that the family understood that the justice system was at work, the command took action.” He has no contact. … She is in no danger of being contacted by him.”
Kessler also noted that the Marines and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) are cooperating in the investigation into Champagne, although the service’s investigative agency would not confirm the investigation.
“NCIS takes allegations of criminal sexual misconduct very seriously,” NCIS spokesman Jeff Houston told Military.com. “Out of respect for the investigative process and to protect the privacy of the victim, NCIS does not comment on, confirm details of, or confirm the existence of, ongoing investigations involving allegations of criminal sexual misconduct.”
NCIS did not immediately respond to a Fox News request for comment.
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