Despite photo proof of vicious, racially motivated assaults, a neo-Nazi and member of the U.S. Marine Corps received minimal punishment for his participation in the deadly white supremacist rally last year in Charlottesville.
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Vasillios Pistolis, a 19-year-old Marine lance corporal, received a sentence from the military of 30 days confinement for disobeying orders and making false statements, though it’s unclear if he will serve behind bars or his quarters. Military officials also reduced his rank to private first class and docked his pay, ProPublica reported on Wednesday.
The Marine Corps was also processing him for a discharge, which could stretch on for months if he decides to appeal.
Military officials pursued charges that were “the lowest level of court martial the Marine Corps could’ve decided to bring against him,” Ed Beck, a veteran who reported Pistolis’ white supremacist activities to the military, said.
Meanwhile, civilian law enforcement officials reportedly had no interest in pursuing charges against the Marine. In addition, University of Virginia police investigated Pistolis’ involvement in the violent rally but said it “will not move forward” with any action, a spokesperson told the news outlet.
That was puzzling, considering the unabashed racist boasted about assaulting anti-racism counter-protesters at the rally.
“Today cracked 3 skulls open with virtually no damage to myself,” Pistolis posted in a white supremacist chat room on the day of the Charlottesville rally. Photographs taken at the event showed him using a wooden flagpole to strike a protester.
Pistolis also patted himself on the back in a separate post for assaulting Charlottesville activist Emily Gorcenski at the rally. Several videos showed him kicking at her.
“I remain concerned that the U.S. Marines have not yet discharged him, and his access to and training with military weaponry should be a concern to everyone,” Gorcenski told ProPublica, adding that she was hopeful that civilian authorities will ultimately pursue charges against him.
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