Marines with Marine Wing Support Squadron (MWSS) 274 prepare to perform casualty evacuation drills during a training operation at Marine Corps Auxiliary Landing Field Bogue, North Carolina, March 9, 2017. MWSS-274 conducted casualty evacuation drills in order to improve unit readiness and maintain combat skills. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Anthony J. Brosilow)
More than 30 Marines may face discipline and harsher punishments like court-martial in connection with the Marines United nude photo scandal rocking the service.
Investigators have not uncovered any felony criminal activity at this point, but officials told Marine Corps Times that service members discovered with a link to the nude photo scandal could face as much discipline as a court-martial.
“Due to the sensitivities of ongoing investigations and respect for the independence of the individual commanders’ accountability process, specific disposition information will not be provided,” Marine Corps spokeswoman Capt. Ryan Alvis said.
Apparent victims of the Marines United scandal, in which service members posted nude photos of female service members in private groups online, said they were furious that the Marine Corps hasn’t been moving quickly enough in its investigation.
One of the alleged victims, Erika Butner, said she wants the service to be more upfront about the progress of the investigations.
“My end goal is to ensure that revenge porn and sharing a photo without someone’s consent, without their permission, is a federal law. That is my top goal,” Butner said Thursday.
Butner added that she knows of hundreds of women with their pictures posted online.
In response to the scandal, the Navy and Marine Corps have banned the distribution of nude photos without consent in an interim revision to regulations, though former Navy JAG told Navy Times that proving the case in court using the new regulatory language would be a challenge.
The case of Marine Corps Master Sgt. Theophilus Thomas facing a felony charge in a civilian court with posting private pictures of a woman on the internet is separate from the Marines United scandal. Thomas allegedly posted a nude photo of a woman online, in addition to six other photos of her wearing underwear.
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