The discovery of unauthorized nude photos distributed on a Facebook group with thousands of U.S. Marines may shed light on similar groups, The Washington Post reports.
Female marines, both current and former, described several closed all-male Facebook groups which at times shared nude photographs with thousands of members without consent. After one female Marine complained to her command that her ex-boyfriend had shared a private sex tape with one of these Facebook groups, she was asked,”Why don’t you not make sex tapes?”
Another female Marine described surreptitious photos taken of her and posted on a closed all-male Facebook group, along with disparaging comments for trying to complete the infantry training course. “Right now I’m supposed to be able to trust every male Marine,” she told The Washington Post. “With some of the stuff I see them saying about women, that’s just not happening,” she continued.
The scandal has prompted an investigation by military prosecutors and could lead to jail time for hundreds of Marines. As the investigation continues, and other’s affected speak out, other Facebook groups may also be included in the inquiry.
Any active-duty military personnel who participated in sharing the photos will be charged with “indecent viewing, visual recording or broadcasting,” Capt. Ryan Alvis told Marine Corps Times. The charges may even extend to service members who were passively part of the group and did not share nude photos of other Marines.
“Officers won’t be difficult to charge, … as they are held to a higher standard and knew, or should have known, those photos were unauthorized,” former Judge Advocate Rachel VanLandingham elaborated to the MCT. She continued that enlisted members will be more difficult to charge for just being a part of the group, unless the military can prove they knew the photos were distributed without authorization.
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