"This is a man of very high character, he has no convictions anywhere in the world and has contributed immensely to society," Colonel Schnelle's lawyer told the court. "The US Marines are going to deal with him very harshly." His lawyer said any conviction would affect any assignments or promotions he could hope to get in future.
The woman was taken to hospital by ambulance for treatment of facial injuries and later released. In July Mr Elwood was permitted by the court to relocate to Robertson Barracks in Darwin as part of the US Marine Rotational Unit.
A DARWIN-BASED US Marine allegedly disguised himself in a motorbike helmet before dragging a 60-year-old woman from her car and slamming her head into vehicles in the carpark earlier this month.
Court documents allege the woman, who worked at a Brisbane Barracks, was thrown against cars and had her head slammed on vehicles and a steel guard rail while being told “be quiet” as she screamed for help.
Elwood allegedly continued the attack until an Australian Federal Police officer at the Army base heard the woman shouting “no” and “please” and intervened.
The 20-year-old Marine allegedly tried to bite the officer when he tried to help the woman. It took three people to detain the man before he was arrested and granted watchhouse bail earlier this month.
The woman sustained serious injuries, including bruising and cuts.
Marine Rotational Force Darwin spokesman First Lieutenant Jose Uriarte confirmed Elwood remained an “active-duty Marine” despite the charges.
The Marine was charged with serious assault of a person over 60, assaulting a police officer and wilful damage. Authorities have not revealed what the American soldier was doing at Gallipoli Barracks.
The US Marine Corps is facing a $25 million law suit for failing to discipline a colonel over his lewd conduct in Darwin which included sending inappropriate text messages to a female Australian major and showing pornography to a male navy commander.
The law suit was initiated last week by a woman whose child was sexually abused by Colonel Daniel Hunter Wilson after he was transferred to a new command in the US without being disciplined over his Darwin behaviour.
Australian military officers could be asked to give evidence in support of the legal action relating to Wilson, 56, who last year was sentenced to 5½ years’ jail for sexually abusing the woman’s six-year-old daughter.
Wilson, a 36-year veteran of the marines, was posted to Darwin for six months in the sensitive role as liaison officer for the Marine Rotational Force in early 2016.
But just 10 days into the job he was removed and sent back to the US following complaints about his behaviour from local officers, especially his Australian counterpart.
“Had they (the Marine Corps) handled it properly he would never have been stuck back where he could assault my daughter.’