Chairman of Wampanoag steps aside over rape conviction, distortions of Vietnam service

By Denise Lavoie
Boston, Masschussetts 8-07 - The chairman of a tribe seeking to build a $1 billion (euro730 million) casino stepped down from his daily duties after a published report revealed he is a convicted rapist who lied to Congress about his military service during Vietnam.

Glenn Marshall issued a statement during August acknowledging he let misstatements about his service stand. The statement said nothing about the rape conviction. He said he was giving up day-to-day duties to “deal with the mental and physical issues I’m facing.”
Marshall had been the Mashpee Wampanoag’s public face during much of its journey to win federal recognition, which was granted in February, and its push to open the first casino in the state of Massachusetts.

The Cape Cod Times, citing its own archives and court records, reported that Marshall was convicted in 1981 of raping a 22-year-old visitor to the Cape. Marshall was accused of sexually assaulting the woman in a secluded spot in West Barnstable after offering to drive her from a party to her sister’s house.

Marshall, 57, was sentenced to five years in state prison, but served just three months before being released on probation, court records show.

The Times report also says Marshall lied about his military record, including how much action he saw in Vietnam.

During a congressional oversight hearing on the tribe’s request for federal recognition in 2004, Marshall testified that he survived the siege of Khe Sahn, during which Marines fought back a 77-day onslaught by the North Vietnamese from January to April of 1968. Marshall made the same claim in a Cape Cod Times interview in 1998 and before a state gaming panel in 2002.

But during the siege, Marshall was still a senior in high school in Falmouth. School records confirm he graduated from Lawrence High School on June 9, 1968, a school spokeswoman said.

On Aug. 23, a Marine spokeswoman said Marshall was based in Danang, not Khe Sahn, during his four months in Vietnam, and served a total of 23 months in the military. He received the National Defense Service Medal and Vietnam Service Medal with one star, the spokeswoman said.

Recently, Marshall had told the Times he had served around the globe between 1966 and 1972, including time in Vietnam, Panama, Cuba, Japan and the Philippines.

“I am proud of my service in the Vietnam War and stand by the service I provided for my country during that horrific period of history,” Marshall said in his statement Friday. “Like others who were part of the war, the years that followed my service are not something I’m proud of. I am proud of the rehabilitation and turnaround in my life following those years, and am proud of what the Tribe has accomplished. I am sorry to have distorted my record and to allow it to stand uncorrected.”

He went on to add: “Like a lot of veterans from that era, I realize I have my own demons that I need to deal with.” The statement did not say how long he intended to leave his day-to-day duties to Shawn Hendricks, tribal vice chairman.

Hendricks said plans will continue in Marshall’s absence to work on bringing casino gaming to Massachusetts.

Marshall did not return calls by The Associated Press to his home and office. Members of the Wampanoag Tribal Council also did not return calls seeking comment.