Hillsborough County

Marine Corps recruiter arrested for sending nude pictures to teenager

WESLEY CHAPEL, Fla. (WFLA) - A recruiter with the U.S. Marine Corps was arrested for sending nude pictures to a teenager.

Court papers say that Vivan Wilkinson, 27, sent the photographs via Snapchat in August of 2018.  He was arrested in mid-December, jail records show.

Investigators with the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office launched an investigation when they learned Wilkinson was "communicating with a juvenile" that he has known for approximately a year.

The gender of the teen isn't known since that information is redacted in the paperwork.

Documents explain that the suspect "visits local high schools to speak about the Marine Corps and what they have to offer graduating students."

Wilkinson sent nude photographs of himself to the victim unsolicited, the paperwork says.

The victim later blocked the suspect.

"It's disgusting. Disgraceful. The military needs to do a better job explaining to their staff what's inappropriate and appropriate and keep reinforcing it," said Wesley Chapel resident Francis Kelliher.

According to the Marine Corps, Wilkinson is on an administration hold and isn't currently working out of the Wesley Chapel substation.

The Marine Corps sent the following statement to News Channel 8:

The Marine Corps is cooperating closely with law enforcement officials during their investigation and prides itself on the high moral character of individual Marines. Allegations of this sort of behavior are investigated and handled at the appropriate judicial or administrative forum.  The Marine Corps does not condone this sort of behavior, which undermines our core values of honor, courage, and commitment.

Attempts to reach Wilkinson for comment were unsuccessful.

He's charged with two counts of transmitting harmful material to a minor.

He has bonded out of jail.

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