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A Marine Corps recruiter who self-published a memoir describing an alleged sexual relationship with a recruit has been removed from his role pending the results of an internal investigation.
Gunnery Sgt. Christopher Champagne, 36, last month published an account of what he called a “scandalous romantic relationship” with a young would-be recruit.
Excerpts of the since-deleted memoir reviewed by Military.com reportedly “paint a disturbing picture of an adult man in a position of power within the Marine Corps engaging in sexual activities with a potential recruit.”
In a creepy twist, the subject of his tale, dubbed “Cosette” in the book, “needed consent from her parents to join the military,” which implies she was under 18.
A spokesperson for his command confirmed to Military.com that although Champagne remains on active duty, he is no longer performing recruiting duties at Recruiting Station Fort Worth until the investigation resulting from the details in his book is complete.
“The kind of conduct that we’re discussing is absolutely not representative of Recruiting Station Fort Worth, 8th Marine Corps Recruiting District or the Marine Corps at large,” Capt. Bryanna Kessler told the outlet.
“We don’t support people who don’t conform to our … ethos,” she said. “And if people aren’t willing to abide by those, they are no longer welcome to serve in our ranks. … That is not representative of what we as an institution believe in.”
Kessler said Champagne’s command had been in touch with the family of the girl featured in the book to ensure “that the family understood that the justice system is at work, the command has taken action. He is not in contact. … She’s not in any danger of being contacted by him.”
In excerpts of the memoir, which Military.com said it received from Champagne’s former in-laws, he elaborated on the alleged relationship in detail, including how she stayed with him “three or four nights a week” and how he hid the fact that he had unprotected sex with her.
Kessler said both the Marine Corps and NCIS were investigating the case, but the service declined to confirm their involvement.
“NCIS takes allegations of criminal sexual misconduct very seriously,” NCIS spokesperson Jeff Houston told Military.com. “Out of respect for the investigative process and to protect victim privacy, NCIS does not comment on, confirm details relating to, or confirm the existence of ongoing investigations that involve allegations of criminal sexual misconduct.”
NCIS did not respond to The Post’s request for comment by press time.