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Embattled Marine, accused of having threesome with Naval cadets, facing second court- martial

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Sarah Stadler (left-photo USN) and Major Mark Thompson (right-photo LinkedIn)
Sarah Stadler (left-photo USN) and Major Mark Thompson (right-photo LinkedIn)

A Marine who’s been fighting to prove his innocence for years, will be facing another military trial this fall for lying under oath about an alleged threesome he had with two midshipmen.

This will be the second court-martial for 46-year-old Marine Maj. Mark Thompson– a former history instructor at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. In 2013, he was convicted of five lesser sexual misconduct charges, but acquitted of rape. The charges stem from a drunken night when two female cadets showed up at Thompson’s off-campus home following the “boozy annual croquet match.”

Sarah Stadler described her relationship with Thompson as “ongoing and consensual.” Her friend claimed she was raped the night the two came to his house in Virginia in 2011.

Thompson denied having any relationship with the students, but when Stadler’s old cell phone was discovered, prosecutors were able to prove that Thompson lied under oath. They took a closer look at the new evidence, as a result of a Washington Post article about the case.

According to the Post article, “Many of the more the 650 text messages [Stadler] and Thompson exchanged appear to contradict what he said under oath in 2014 to an administrative board that was deciding whether he should be expelled from the Marines.”

At a preliminary hearing last month, the lead prosecutor in the case argued that Thompson should be sent to prison for about three years, “fined $200,000 and ­expelled from the service.”

Maj. Michael Pretus, a longtime friend of Thompson’s and former teacher at the Academy, was a key witness at Thompson ‘s 2013 court martial. He later admitted, however, that his testimony was false and is now apparently cooperating with prosecutors as part of an immunity deal.

Pretus testified at the first trial that on the night of the alleged assault, Thompson told him, by phone,  that two midshipmen had stopped by to use the ­bathroom and left.  Pretus later changed his story and said, Thompson told him that the ­women had gotten in the shower after Stadler’s friend threw up.

The two men go way back to their days in combat together. Pretus and Thompson were assigned to platoons on the same day, a decade ago. They reconnected at Quantico years later and remained close — both later becoming teachers at the Academy.

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