The first US marine has been court-martialed over the ‘Marines United’ scandal, pleading guilty to non-consensually sharing photos of female marines on a website.
The marine was sentenced to ten days confinement, three grades rank demotion, and lost two-thirds of his monthly pay.
The marine pled guilty under the charge ‘related to the nonconsensual sharing of explicit photos on the Marines United Facebook group.’
The Daily Mail reports:
The court-martial was a part response to a scandal which rocked the Corps, where Marines shared explicit photos of female soldiers and veterans.
Some of the pictures would include the women’s full name and rank.
Since news of the scandal broke in February the Naval Criminal Investigative Service – the law enforcement agency for the US Navy and Marine Corps – has gone through 131,000 images across 168 social media sites.
Officers from the NCIS identified 89 persons of interest – 22 civilians and 67 active-duty marines.
General Glenn Walters, Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps, said the service has updated their training about what is appropriate on social media.
He said: ‘While those changes address the immediate behavioral issue, we also remain committed to addressing and evolving our culture by changing the way we educate, train and lead our Marines.
‘We will not tolerate a lack of respect for any member of our team.’
Members of the the Marines United Facebook group, which has since been shut down, shared the photos without the consent of those photographed.
They were also suspected of harassing women online.
One of the women subject to the ordeal was Lance Corporal Marisa Woytek, who had pictures taken from her Instagram account and posted on Marines United.
Some on the internet expressed that they were glad that the Marine Corps decided to deal with the issue, and actually hold those responsible accountable for their actions.
Others didn’t believe that a court-martial and a pay dock was enough punishment.
Many female marines testified in court, talking about how they were harassed on the internet after those pictures were exploited.