A court martial is set for [this past] Monday at Camp Pendleton for a 21-year-old Marine from Orange County accused of desertion, possession of child pornography and fraudulent enlistment.
The case will likely end up in a plea bargain with the Marine admitting guilt to one or more charges in exchange for being released from the brig and discharged from the Marine Corps under something less than honorable conditions.
Like civilian justice, the court martial system encourages plea bargains to avoid trials, particularly in cases where the accused has already spent significant time in custody. Pvt. Joshua Fry has been in the brig since being arrested a year ago attempting to desert.
Fry was found with child pornography on his computer, according to prosecutors. The fraudulent enlistment charges alleges that he did not tell his recruiter that he had once undergone treatment for an addiction to child porn.
But even if Fry's criminal case is completed, the Marine Corps is still probing the question of how Fry got into the service despite being diagnosed as autistic, and why he wasn't discharged when he told the drill instructors and Navy corpsman at boot camp in San Diego about his condition.