The court-martial for the Parris Island drill instructor who assisted in throwing a Muslim recruit inside a dryer has been downgraded- with no explanation given as to why.
Sergeant Michael Eldridge is accused of taking part in the now-infamous July 2015 incident, when his fellow drill instructor, Gunnery Sergeant Joseph Felix, allegedly ran a Muslim recruit through several dryer cycles in a commercial dryer, questioning the recruit about his religion.
Eldridge was referred to a court-martial in April but has since been relegated to a trial before a summary court-martial, a type of legal proceeding generally used for more minor offenses, as well as being closed to the public.
According to the Marine Times, Eldridge is no longer being charged with making a false official statement, but still faces charges of cruelty and maltreatment, failure to obey a general order and disorderly conduct.
A TECOM spokesman declined to elaborate on why Eldridge is allowed to appear before a summary court-martial or if Eldridge has reached a plea agreement.
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