Parris Island Marine drill instructor convicted of abuse in Muslim recruit death scandal

Drill Instructors saluting the U.S. flag during the graduation of recruits from US Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, SC (File/Thinkstock)

A military jury has convicted a Marine Corps drill instructor of abusing young recruits and then lying about his actions to investigators.

The eight-man jury at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, decided Thursday that Gunnery Sgt. Joseph Felix's punching, choking and kicking of recruits at the Marine Corps' Parris Island, South Carolina, boot camp included a focus on three Muslim men.

The 34-year-old Iraq veteran could be sentenced to military prison, financial penalties and a dishonorable discharge.

Felix was accused of being a central figure in an abusive group of drill instructors at Parris Island uncovered after the March 2016 suicide of one of the Muslim-American recruits targeting.

An investigation led to charges against Felix, five other drill instructors and the training battalion's commanding officer. Eleven others faced lesser, administrative discipline.

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