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Marine Court-Martialed Over Nude Photo Scandal

A Marine was court-martialed in a hearing in relation to the “Marines United” scandal where Marines digitally shared nude images of their female comrades.

The New York Daily News reports that a marine has been court-martialed in a trial relating to the “Marines United” scandal in which it was discovered that male Marines had been sharing nude photos of their female comrades. Nude photos of female Marines, often including their full name and rank, were shared on a Facebook page and across the internet, leading to a full investigation into the participants of the Facebook group.

On June 29, one Marine pleaded guilty to a court-martialed for sharing explicit photos on the “Marines United” page and was sentenced to 10 days behind bars, a loss of three ranks and the loss of two-thirds of a month’s pay according to a statement from the Marine Corps. The identity of the Marine involved was not revealed as he was facing a “summary” administrative court-martial. The Marine will also receive an  “administrative separation” which is a form of discharge.

Two Marines have also been “separated” following 67 active-duty or reserve members and 22 civilians coming forward as victims of the “Marines United” photo-sharing scandal. Investigators from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service are still researching five active-duty cases while 62 others have been “passed on to appropriate Marine commands.”

Aside from court-martials, there have reportedly been seven other “non-judicial punishments” and 22 “adverse administrative actions,” as a result of the investigation. In March Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand commented on the scandal saying, “It is a serious problem when we have members of our military denigrating female Marines who will give their life for this country in the way they have with no response from leadership.”

Attorney Gloria Allred who is representing certain victims of the “Marines United” scandal said in a statement that the Marine Corps was not doing enough to deal with, “the widespread and serious nature of the Marines United scandal, which has been very damaging to the status and image of many women Marines,” she continued to say, “we need more than press releases and task forces to address this serious problem. We need action and appropriate punishment.”

In April, the Marines and Navy changed official regulations to specifically ban the sharing of nude photos without the consent of the person in the picture. Erika Butne, a former Marine, and Lance Cpl. Marisa Woytek, both victims of the “Marines United” scandal, stated that the changes were “weak” and written consent should be required to share an explicit photo of an individual.

The head of the Marine Corps task for overseeing the scandal, Gen. Glenn Walters, stated that the branch has changed the procedure for responding to reports of online conduct and allegations are now reported directly to NCIS.