Corps may investigate cpl’s gay porn past
Posted : Friday Mar 16, 2007 19:57:31 EDT
A letter appointing an investigating officer to look into the admitted gay porn past of a Marine in the Individual Ready Reserve is sitting on the desk of Mobilization Command’s deputy commander awaiting his signature, the command’s spokesman said Tuesday.
Col. Stephen Brown’s signature would launch a formal command investigation into admissions that Cpl. Matt Sanchez appeared in numerous gay porn films under the names “Rod Majors” and “Pierre LaBranche” before joining the Corps in 2003, said command spokesman Shane Darbonne.
Sanchez, 36, a senior at Columbia University, falls under the authority of Marine Corps Mobilization Command in Kansas City, Mo., where the commanding general’s staff judge advocate, Lt. Col. Michael Blessing, began an informal inquiry last week to determine if the command should launch an investigation, Darbonne said.
In an interview Tuesday with Marine Corps Times, Sanchez confirmed his performances in such movies as “Man to Men” and “Jawbreaker” over two consecutive summers in 1991 and 1992, but said he wasn’t then, and isn’t now, gay.
During a radio interview with Fox News Channel’s Alan Colmes last week, Sanchez acknowledged working as a male prostitute, but told Marine Corps Times he hasn’t had homosexual sex since he joined the Corps in 2003.
“It’s something that was a part of my life, but it’s in my past,” he said.
Sanchez has been in the spotlight in recent months after penning columns in the New York Post and Marine Corps Times, describing what he has called anti-military bias expressed by fellow students at Columbia. In one incident, his photo was used in an anti-war sign on campus. He also said fellow students publicly accused him of being “stupid” for joining the military as a minority. Columbia has not commented on their investigation into the matter.
Sanchez has since appeared on conservative cable shows and received an award while attending the Conservative Political Action Conference earlier this month. It was after this appearance that gay bloggers posted images and information about Sanchez’s gay porn past.
Homosexual sex is punishable under the article of the Uniform Code of Military Justice that forbids “sodomy.”
Sanchez, a refrigeration mechanic who joined the Corps in May 2003 and drilled with 6th Communications Battalion until June 2005, transferred to the IRR 11 days shy of his two-year mark, according to personnel records at Marine Forces Reserve in New Orleans.
Typical Reserve enlistment contracts are eight years, with six spent drilling with a Reserve unit and two in the IRR. Sanchez said he was transferred to nondrilling status early because of a medical problem.
The eight-year enlistment contract Sanchez signed in 2003 doesn’t expire until May 13, 2011, and “I’ll do anything the Corps asks me to do,” he said.
According to the Marine Corps’ Separation and Retirement Manual, “Marine reservists who act in pornographic movies while not in a drilling status are subject to administrative separation with an other-than-honorable discharge based on commission of a serious offense, that being indecent exposure.”
Sanchez said the scenes he filmed during the early ’90s have been re-used in numerous movies released since, which is why he has gay porn industry film credits as late as 2006.
But regardless of when Sanchez filmed his scenes, section 654 of U.S. Code Title 10 states, “The presence in the armed forces of persons who demonstrate a propensity or intent to engage in homosexual acts would create an unacceptable risk to the high standards of morale, good order and discipline, and unit cohesion that are the essence of military capability.”
Though potential enlistees are not asked about their sexual orientation during the recruit screening process, there is still the matter of whether Sanchez committed erroneous or fraudulent enlistment by failing to tell officials during the initial screening process that he had appeared in porn movies.
Recruiting Command spokesman Master Sgt. James Edwards said each potential enlistee is screened physically, mentally and morally.
“If an applicant falls into the category of questionable moral character, he or she will be disqualified for enlistment. If an applicant is part of an inappropriate affiliation that will bring discredit to the Marine Corps, he or she will be disqualified,” Edwards said.
The separations and retirement manual states that a Marine could receive either an honorable or general discharge for fraudulent enlistment if “a deliberate material misrepresentation, including the omission of facts which, if known at the time, would have precluded the eligibility for enlistment.”
If MobCom officials decide Sanchez enlisted fraudulently, he would not be entitled to a hearing to plea his case before separation, said MarForRes spokesman Capt. Tyson Dunkelberger.
Sanchez is stoic about what comes next.
“They’ll do what they have to do,” he said. “Anyone who’s been in a situation like this knows that it’s out of their hands. The biggest thing is owning up to it and moving on.”
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