Marine Cpl. Jerry D. Rousseau has been formally charged with the rape and murder of Dorothy Layton, an American schoolteacher, in Rabat, Morocco, according to a Marine Corps spokesman.

The Marines are continuing their investigation in preparation for a possible court-martial.

Layton was murdered in her home in the Casbah during the early morning of June 3. The 39-year-old teacher at the Rabat American School had been beaten, strangled and stabbed at least twice. Rousseau, 21, became the subject of an international jurisdictional dispute as the American and Moroccan governments fought over the right to try the case.

A Marine guard in the U.S. embassy in Rabat, Rousseau was the last person seen with Layton. He was missing for five days after the murder, then turned himself over to Marine authorities and was held as a suspect for several weeks in the consulate in Casablanca while the jurisdictional dispute remained unresolved.

On Thursday, Rousseau was returned to the United States on a regularly scheduled military aircraft and is being held at Marine headquarters in Quantico.

State Department officials refused to explain how the jursdictional dispute was resolved or even if the Moroccan government knew that Rousseau was back in the United States.

The U.S. government contends that Rousseau was entitled to diplomatic immunity under the Vienna Convention Treaty on diplomatic relations, but the Moroccans argue that they have jurisdiction because they have not signed a private treaty that provides diplomatic immunity for embassy "support personnel," a category that includes embassy guards.