Police in Hemet, California are dealing with a bizarre criminal case after a Marine recruiter was charged with pimping a 14-year-old girl with potential recruits. Staff Sgt. Bryan Damone Cunningham was allegedly caught in a car with two such prospective recruits and police are investigating whether he used the girl as part of his recruitment efforts.
Cunningham has pleaded not guilty to the charges of felony pimping and kidnapping. As for the two potential recruits, their military career may be over before it started. They are charged with sex with a minor.
If the police find a connection between the recruiting and pimping, it could yield some interesting new charges as a criminal enterprise. In this case, however, the USMC could be the beneficiary of these efforts — albeit the unwitting beneficiary. Even with all of the recent allegations of abusive recruiting practices, this would set a new low. If he did commit these acts, the question is whether he used his recruiter position as an opportunity to enlist johns or used his johns as an opportunity to enlist Marines. He reportedly met the girl over the Internet. Either way, sentencing guidelines would be a nightmare for defense counsel absent a plea agreement.
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