Marine lieutenant colonel charged with assault for allegedly hitting his wife right before Christmas
The former commander of the Marine Corps’ 1st Reconnaissance Battalion has been charged with assault following a military investigation into allegations that he had struck his wife days before Christmas in 2018, a Corps official told Task & Purpose on Thursday.
Lt. Col. Francisco Zavala, 42, who was relieved of command of 1st Recon on May 7 after officials found he had committed “misconduct,” will face a preliminary Article 32 hearing in early October to determine whether he will go to court-martial.
Zavala has been charged with alleged violations of Article 128, or assault, in addition to alleged violations of Articles 107, making false official statements; 109, waste, destruction, or spoilage of non-military property; and 133, conduct unbecoming an officer.
“Following the hearing, a determination as to whether charges will be referred to a court-martial will be made,” Maj. Kendra Motz, a spokeswoman for 1st Marine Division, told Task & Purpose.
Corps officials first learned of the allegations against Zavala on April 16 and opened an investigation the following day.
The investigation of Zavala, completed on May 3 and later released to Task & Purpose in response to a Freedom of Information Act request, showed that he had committed “misconduct,” as the commanding general, Maj. Gen. Robert Castelvi, wrote in his endorsement. The report also confirmed some details of his wife’s account of alleged domestic violence that Task & Purpose first reported in May.
As previously reported, Zavala was served with a request for a civilian restraining order in April alleging that his “unstable, violent, and harassing behavior” had made his wife “fear greatly for her safety,” his wife wrote in a sworn two-page statement.
Filed on April 4 as part of an ongoing divorce case, Zavala’s wife detailed multiple instances of domestic abuse over the course of their …read more
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