(CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C.) — A U.S. Marine twice charged with desertion was convicted Monday in a military trial that could put him in confinement for years.
Corporal Wassef Ali Hassoun was found guilty at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, of deserting with intent to avoid hazardous duty and desertion with intent to remain away permanently.
Prosecutors first accused Hassoun, 34, of walking away from Camp Fallujah in Iraq in 2004. Hassoun was later seen blindfolded in a video posted on militant websites but then turned up at the U.S. Embassy in Lebanon a month after first disappearing.
Charged with desertion, Hassoun returned to the U.S. but went back to Camp Lejeune after taking leave to visit family members in Utah. Before disappearing again, the Marine held a news conference at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, claiming he had been kidnapped from Camp Fallujah.
Hassoun then went back to Lebanon where he was living until 2014 when he turned himself in.
Initially, Hassoun was looking at a maximum of 27 years in prison but the most he can now receive upon sentencing is 7.5 years plus reduction in rank and a dishonorable discharge.
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