Females Marines look for justice after the release of nude photos on Facebook.
By Luis Romero, Staff Writer
The Marines Corps issued a new guideline for online posts Wednesday March 22, after revelations of a nude photo scandal surfaced, involving some military branches sharing unauthorized pictures of female service members on Facebook.
The victim’s–former Marine, Erika Butner, and active Marine, Lance Cpl. Marisa Woytek, who served in the Marines until 2016, spoke during a press conference on March 8, 2017. Pictures of them were posted without their permission on the Marines’ United Facebook Page and a linked Google drive. Defense officials said that 34 states and Washington, D.C., have laws prohibiting the sharing of explicit photos without the consent of the subject, which is also a violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, or UCMJ.
“This is a stain on their own conduct. Changes need to be made. Consequences need to be meted out,” Gloria Allred, the victim’s lawyer said. At this point, Allred has yet to say whether victims are looking into pressing criminal charges against those who shared the photos to the public.
The new Marine guidelines state that, “a Marine who posts online commentary and content that is defamatory, threatening, harassing or discriminatory can be punished at the discretion of a military court and probably be removed from service,” according to CNN.
In efforts to speed up the investigation military leaders are tracking accounts, like Marines United and others, that have been found through the web. Defense Officials have referred to cyber harassment and abuse as a “cancer,” strongly urging other victims to step forward with their reports.
“I am disheartened and disgusted with this scandal,” said Butner, “because as a rape survivor, I can tell you that this exact behavior leads to the normalization of sexual harassment and even sexual violence.”
This scandal has raised questions about whether the U.S. military is properly dealing with cyber issues. The Marine Corps was quick to take down the defamatory Facebook page and Google drive, however, defense officials suspect the photos will likely migrated to other sites.
The National Security Agency was supposed to deliver documents to the intelligence committee but it is unclear whether that has happened yet.