guilty pleas

Marine Staff Sgt. James McCoy: Yes, I Sack-Tapped Subordinates

Marine Staff Sgt. James McCoy, who oversaw the training of fresh-out-of-high-school recruits at a Virginia base, pleaded guilty to “mistreating 17 male subordinates by touching them in the groin, repeatedly making offensive sexual comments and gestures, and accusing them of being gay”; the plea deal got him off the hook for 24 other charges, including sexual misconduct and assault. McCoy told the court he engaged in “sack-tapping,” which is exactly what you think it is. He faced 17 years in prison, but “a judge sentenced him to a year in confinement, reduction in rank and a bad conduct discharge.” McCoy’s attorneys argued sack-tapping and gay jokes are standard in the Marines, so what’s the big deal?