WASHINGTON, July 11, 2017 — The U.S. Marine Corps announced that a U.S. Marine pleaded to guilty to leaking explicit photos of female Marines in a secret Facebook group. The unnamed Marine was sentenced to 10 days confinement.
He will also receive a reduction of rank by three grades and the loss of two-thirds of one month’s pay. The Marine Corps issued a press release that confirms that the “process to administratively separate the Marine is underway.”
Military.com explained that the Marine was not named because he faced a summary court-martial, not a general or special courts-martial, and was therefore given anonymity by the Privacy Act of 1974. The unnamed Marine is the first to be convicted and sentenced on charges related to the Marines United Facebook group photo scandal. The scandal surfaced in March, when it was revealed that Marines shared nearly 30,000 nude photos of colleagues and personal information.
Navy investigators identified 22 civilians and 67 active-duty Marines as “persons of interest”; the scandal forced the Marine Corps to launch multiple investigations. All allegations are being investigated by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. The U.S. military relies on its own court-martial system to bring charges against service members and determine appropriate punishments.
In response to this scandal, the Navy and Marine Corps made it a crime to post or circulate sexually explicit photos online “with the intent to realize personal gain; with the intent to humiliate, harm, harass, intimidate, threaten or coerce the depicted person; or with reckless disregard as to whether the depicted person would be humiliated, harmed, intimidated, threatened or coerced.”
“How we handle cases today is much different and more effective as a result of what occurred with Marines United,” Gen. Glenn Walters, Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps and the current head of the task force, told Military.com.
“Moving forward, we are planning to establish a permanent structure that can address all of the factors that contribute to the negative subculture that has allowed this behavior to exist.”