CHICAGO — Allen Lee dreamed of joining the Marines his entire life, a dream
that was on the verge of coming true after the suburban Chicago 18-year-old
signed enlistment papers earlier this month.
One violent, profanity-laced English essay later and Lee's future with the
Marine Corps appears to be over.
Because of pending criminal charges stemming from his essay, Lee's recruiter
told him on April 27 that the Marine Corps had discharged him from his contract,
said Sgt. Luis R. Agostini, spokesman for Chicago's Marine Corps recruiting
"Basically he is no longer an applicant to become a Marine," Agostini
The Cary-Grove High School senior was charged last week with two misdemeanor
counts of disorderly conduct after the principal turned his creative writing
essay over to police.
Lee was arrested April 24 and posted $75 bond. He is scheduled to appear in
court June 18.
The charges are a product of paranoia, born in the aftermath of the massacre
of 32 students at Virginia Tech by a social outcast who then killed himself,
said one of Lee's attorneys, Thomas Loizzo.
"Once the dust settles, once they look at this through clearer glasses, we
think that the state will do the right thing and dismiss the charges," Loizzo
Lee hopes to re-enlist in the Marines if he's cleared of the charges and he's
allowed to return to school, said his other attorney, Dane Loizzo.
"That's the most disheartening thing about this entire situation," Dane
Loizzo said. "He was really looking forward to and wanted to serve and protect
this country, because of this, unfortunately, that seems to be put on a
Lee signed a contract April 9 that made him a "poolee," a high school senior
who had signed up before graduation. If the charges are dropped and Lee
completes a psychological exam, the Marine Corps could reconsider his
application to enlist.
Lee said the essay was a compilation of song lyrics, movie quotes and
"I have completed the MEPS (Military Entry Processing Station) examinations,
and yes a psychiatric evaluation is included in the process," Lee wrote in a
statement provided by his attorney. "If I'm qualified to defend the country, I
believe I'm qualified to attend school."
But prosecutors say Lee's words shouldn't be taken lightly. He initially
faced just one charge, but an amended complaint filed April 26 cited a second
"In light of recent events (at Virginia Tech), that is part of the context of
what happened that makes the reaction all the more reasonable," said Tom
Carroll, first assistant state's attorney in McHenry County.
McHenry County State's Attorney Louis Bianchi said he never had seen a
student essay as "alarming and disturbing."
"Fortunately, we may never know if we've saved anybody's life here," Bianchi
Lee, who has a 4.2 grade-point-average and never has been in trouble before,
is being tutored at the school district's administration offices while officials
decide his future, Thomas Loizzo said.
The essay, written April 23, reads in part, "Blood sex and Booze. Drugs Drugs
Drugs are fun. Stab, Stab, Stab, S...t...a...b..., poke. 'So I had this dream
last night where I went into a building, pulled out two P90s and started
shooting everyone ..., then had sex with the dead bodies. Well, not really, but
it would be funny if I did.'"
The teacher told students, "Be creative, there will be no judgment and no
censorship," Thomas Loizzo said. "There was never any warning from the teacher
that if she determined the paper to be offensive, she would then pass it along
to the authorities."
School officials had other options besides turning over the essay to police,
said Ed Yohnka, spokesman for the Illinois branch of the American Civil
"I've never heard of someone, a student, being arrested for what they wrote,"
Yohnka said. "It just went from a student turning in a homework assignment to an
arrest ... not a contact with a parent, a social worker or anyone else. I've
never seen anything like it."
Community High School District 155 spokesman Jeff Puma declined to talk about
Lee's future, citing privacy concerns.
"The essay was inappropriate in that it caused a question about safety," Puma
The charges could result in a possible $1,500 fine and up to 30 days in jail
if Lee is convicted.