Pimping For Marine Recruits
Staff Sgt. Bryan Damone Cunningham, 33, of San Pedro pleaded not guilty to seven felonies last Thursday after police in Orange discovered the teenage girl in a car with Cunningham and two other men. The two men, ages 18 and 19, were potential Marine recruits, police said.
The girl, who has since been returned to her parents in Hemet, told police that she met Cunningham online and had sex with all three men. She also told police Cunningham wanted her to work as a prostitute and had tried to take her to Los Angeles County against her will.
Police said they are trying to determine if Cunningham may have been using the girl to entice Marine recruits.
"It's not proven ... but when you look at it, this is a grown man, a Marine staff sergeant," said Hemet police Lt. Joe Nevarez. "Why would he be taking them out to have sex with a 14-year-old girl?"
Cunningham's attorney, Dane Levy, did not immediately return a call seeking comment Tuesday.
U.S. Marine Corps officials said that type of sexual enticement would not be tolerated. The Marines are also working to "administratively separate" Cunningham from the Marines, so he would be forced to leave the military.
Also charged are Justin Willard, 18, of Los Angeles and Homer Daskalakis, 19, of Long Beach.
Daskalakis has pleaded not guilty to one felony count each of having unlawful sex with a minor and of oral copulation with a person under age 18. He is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on June 9. He remains in custody.
Willard faces the same charges but is free on bail. He will be arraigned June 24.
Cunningham is being held on $1 million bail and has a court hearing June 18, said John Hall, a spokesman for the Riverside County district attorney's office.
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