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Marine court-martialed for participation in violent Charlottesville rally

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA - AUGUST 12: Hundreds of white nationalists, neo-Nazis and members of the "alt-right" march down East Market Street toward Lee Park during the "Unite the Right" rally August 12, 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia. After clashes with anti-fascist protesters and police the rally was declared an unlawful gathering and people were forced out of Lee Park, where a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee is slated to be removed. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

A US Marine has been convicted in a court-martial and will be discharged for participating in a violent white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, last year.

Lance Cpl. Vasillios G. Pistolis was found guilty in a summary court-martial Monday of failure to obey an order or regulation and making a false statement, said 1st Lt. Samir J. Glenn-Roundtree of the 2nd Marine Logistics Group.

Military leaders condemn racism after rally

Pistolis was sentenced to 28 days of confinement, was bumped down in rank to E-1, and lost two-thirds pay for a month, Glenn-Roundtree said. Pistolis will have seven days to request clemency. He will be processed for administrative separation, or discharge, Maj. Brian Block said.

Last August 11, white nationalists carried torches and chanted anti-semitic slogans before clashing with counter-protesters at the University of Virginia.

Targeted for being transgender

Emily Gorcenski said she was targeted by some of the white nationalists because she is transgender. They shouted anti-trans slurs at her before someone physically assaulted her.

“I remember being hit and having bruises,” Gorcenski, 36, said Wednesday, but she was unsure if Pistolis struck her, although he, too, verbally harassed her and bragged about striking her, she said. “He proceeded to engage in quite a bit of violence.”

She said she was concerned that a Marine, with access to US military weapons and training, could be a white supremacist.

“I’m relieved that some justice has finally been seen,” she said, despite what she called the “rather lenient results.” She said she is grateful for the military action, “and I hope that the civilian authorities do not overlook his violent actions on August 11 and 12.”

On August 12, the violence continued. Heather Heyer was killed and more than 19 others were injured when a car plowed into a crowd protesting the “Unite the Right” white nationalist rally. The driver, James Alex Fields Jr., has been indicted on several charges, including first-degree murder.