QUANTICO, Va. — Marine Sgt. Clayton Lonetree's commander at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow testified today that no Marine there "lacked female companionship," but that in his 26 months at the embassy, none of his men ever reported having sexual contact with a Soviet national.
Master Gunnery Sgt. Joey Wingate also testified that Lonetree, under court-martial on espionage charges, had problems during the first part of his 17-month stay in Moscow and was nearly relieved of his duties for sleeping at his post and being out of uniform.
But Wingate said Lonetree later showed "great improvement" and was allowed to extend his tour of duty at the embassy by 90 days.
"I looked at him as a Marine who had failed in his duties . . . paid his dues and now was starting on the right foot," Wingate said.
Wingate testified that the Marine policy against social contact with Soviet nationals was clear, and that Marines had access to females from the British Embassy and the Finnish Embassy and to Western tourists.
"I don't believe in my mind there was any Marine who lacked female companionship," he said.
Lonetree, a former guard at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, is accused of giving KGB agents U.S. secrets in exchange for sex with a Soviet woman.
Marine security guards, according to military regulations, are to report all social contact with Soviets, but Wingate testified that none of the Marines under his command reported sexual contact with Soviets.