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Navy charges suspect in Laurel Bay rape; won't release name pending DNA

By Patrick Donohue

A Marine lance corporal from Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort has been charged with the rape last week of a woman in her Laurel Bay home.

The Marine, who is being detained at the U.S. Naval Consolidated Brig in Charleston, also was charged Friday with breaking and entering and larceny in connection with the sexual assault early Feb. 2 inside a home at the military housing complex.

The Naval Criminal Investigative Service is withholding the Marine’s name pending the results of forensic evidence taken from the victim at the scene, said Gunnery Sgt. Chad McMeen, air station spokesman.

“If there’s not a DNA match, then there’s still the possibility that it’s not him,” McMeen said.

The evidence should be processed by early next week, McMeen said.

The Marine has been in the brig since his arrest Feb. 6.

Investigators said the victim did not know the attacker. Base and NCIS officials have declined to discuss other details of the attack or the victim.

The Marine charged in the attack will have a hearing in early March at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, in which a judge will determine if there is enough evidence to merit a general court-martial.

Since the attack, military police and civilian security officers have stepped up patrols at Laurel Bay though base officials say the attack was an isolated incident.

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