Three United States Marines accused of hazing a fellow soldier from Santa Clara -- who killed himself rather than face further abuse -- will be court-martialed by the military, according to reports.
Santa Clara native Harry Lew, 21, a Marine lance corporal in Afghanistan, killed himself 10 days after transferring to a new unit, according to the San Jose Mercury News. Members of the unit say that Lew fell asleep on duty on April 3, when Lew shot himself to death in his foxhole.
The Marine Corps has taken a hard-line stance on the incident, saying it will not "tolerate hazing of any kind," the newspaper reported. Lew also has friends in high places: his aunt is U.S. Rep. Judy Chu, who has held several hearings in Washington about military hazing.
An initial Marine tribunal recommending levelling charges against Lance Cpls. Jacob Jacoby, 21; Carlos Orozco III, 22; and their 26-year-old squad leader, Sgt. Benjamin Johns, the newspaper reported.
A court-martial is a military trial akin to the courtroom drama in the film "A Few Good Men," the newspaper noted.
Lew was allegedly made to do pushups and other exercises in full combat gear, kicked him in the back, punched and kicked him in the head and back, and informed him he was going to get his "ass beat," according to other members of the unit, who felt that the three went "too far" in punishing Lew, the newspaper reported.
Each of the three faces multiple counts, ranging from assualt to hazing and dereliction of duty.