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Former Marine indicted for sexual exploitation of a Forsyth County minor
Court-martialed by Navy-Marine Corps for similar threats
kenny-turner WEB
Kenny Wayne Turner. - photo by For the Forsyth County News

A Forsyth County grand jury indicted a United States Marine Corps Lance Corporal last month on charges of terroristic threats and attempting to sexually exploit children.

The charges come in addition to other similar charges the Navy court-martialed him for last year.

Kenny Wayne Turner, 24, faces three counts of terroristic threats, one count of criminal attempt to commit sexual exploitation of children, one count of distribution of material depicting sexual conduct and one count of electronically furnishing obscene material to minors.

Forsyth County Superior Court Judge Jeffrey S. Bagley issued a warrant for Turner’s arrest Sept. 15.

On May 4, 2015, Turner reportedly threatened to rape a Forsyth County minor and to commit aggravated sodomy and aggravated battery against her, according to an indictment report.

He reportedly sent threatening and sexually explicit messages and photos to the victim while stationed at the United States Naval Air Station in Rota, Spain.

Turner also is accused of trying to coerce the victim into “lewd exhibition of her genitals, sexually explicit conduct, for the purpose of producing a photograph.”

He also reportedly sent the victim photographs of a woman “which depicted sexual conduct and sadomasochistic abuse.”

The threats and pornographic distribution charges are felonies.

Turner first entered into service as a member of the Marine Corps in February of 2012, where he remained on active duty until his court-martial on Dec. 21, 2015, according to Department of the Navy documents obtained by the Forsyth County News.

Certain specifications from charges in the military trial are dated to May 4, 2015, the same date listed on the county’s indictment.

Other charges list different dates, and it was neither confirmed nor denied if his messages were to the same person or different victims.
It was not clear how the military received reports of his alleged misconduct.

Trial documents show Turner apparently obstructed the Navy’s investigation into his crimes by lying to federal investigators assigned to his case and hiding his phone.

In a stipulation of fact sheet that was given to the military judge, Turner wrote, “I impeded NCIS Special Agent [redacted]’s investigation by hiding my iPhone in a ceiling tile in my barracks room. I permitted [the] SA to search my room, but before I let him in, I asked if I could have a moment to ask my roommates to leave, telling SA that I was embarrassed. While SA waited outside my door, I placed my cell phone in the ceiling tile.”

Turner pleaded guilty to violating the Uniform Code of Military Justice, Article 107, which is a false official statement.

He also pleaded guilty to violating Article 134, his charges specifying indecent language and obstructing justice.

In the stipulation of fact document, Turner wrote, “On or about 4 May 2015 … I did communicate to [redacted] via Instagram messages … I was stationed at Naval Air Station Rota, Rota, Spain, at the time I made these threats.”

He continued, “The language I communicated was indecent … the language was offensive to the community of decency and shocks the moral sense of the community. The decision to send these emails was a freely made decision on my part.”

Despite admitting to the vulgar language and calling the messages “threats,” the court-martial ruled that Turner was not guilty of stalking and threat-communicating.

A pretrial agreement reduced his sentence from dishonorable discharge – which the military only hands down for the most serious and reprehensible conduct – to bad conduct discharge.

It also lessened the time Turner was required to spend in confinement, from three years to no more than 15 months.

Though Turner has served time for some of his crimes, Forsyth County will still prosecute him, with a member of the District Attorney’s office saying they feel the court-martial let Turner off too easily, given the nature of his crimes and that they were against a minor.

Turner’s arraignment is scheduled for Oct. 26, though it could be pushed back to Nov. 30 if he is not in the county’s custody by Wednesday, a member of the DA’s office said.

Turner, the representative added, is currently in custody in North Carolina. She said if he is not extradited to Forsyth County soon, he could be given the option of bond and subsequently flee.

Judge Bagley will preside over all matters of the case.