A hearing for a high-ranking Marine Corps officer allegedly linked to hazing and recruit abuse at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island lasted all day Monday until 1 a.m. Tuesday morning, according to Corps officials.
Lt. Col. Joshua Kissoon — Parris Island’s former 3rd Recruit Training Battalion commander alleged to have disobeyed orders, made false statement and engaged in conduct unbecoming an officer — sat through the marathon Article 32 hearing, the outcome of which could recommend his case be sent to a general court-martial, the highest-level military court. There is no time frame for a decision on whether he will face a court-martial.
Col. William Brown presided over the hearing, according to the Corps. He will be tasked with reviewing all the evidence and making a recommendation — which will not be made public — to Brigadier Gen. Kevin Iiams. Iiams, commander of the Corps’ Training and Education Command, will then decide what to do with Kissoon’s case.
Iiams decision will be made public, according to the Corps. He has a variety of options to handle the case, ranging from dismissing or altering charges to sending the matter to a general court-martial.
According to Military.com, an outlet present at the hearing, Kissoon could face criminal charges because he reportedly allowed a drill instructor — already under investigation for hazing and abusing trainees — to keep training recruits.
Kissoon’s former boss, Col. Paul Cucinotta, testified that he ordered Kissoon to sideline Gunnery Sgt. Joseph Felix, who himself faces general court-martial for his alleged role in the March 2016 death of Muslim recruit Raheel Siddiqui, and for his alleged actions during a July 2015 incident when a separate Muslim recruit was stuffed into a commercial clothes dryer and questioned about his faith and loyalty.
According to a Marine Corps news release Tuesday afternoon, Cucinotta was one of eight Marines to testify.
The hearing lasted so long because it was originally scheduled for two days, but a scheduling conflict necessitated it be handled in one.