OCEANSIDE, Calif. - Attorney Gloria Allred released a letter from the House Armed Services Committee responding to her request to allow victims whose nude photos were shared via Facebook group Marines United to testify and will detail why new regulations are not enough.
She was joined by Marine veteran Erika Butner, who discussed the handling of investigations into the case and whether those who posted the photos are being held accountable.
The US Navy and Marine Corps in mid-April officially barred service members from distributing nude photos without the consent of the individual depicted.
Both military branches issued amendments to their conduct regulations to specifically prohibit the nonconsensual or wrongful distribution of an “intimate image.”
The regulation is the equivalent of an order and can be enforced by a military court.
Marines issue new social media guidelines after nude photo scandal
The Marine Corps issued new social media guidelines in mid-March, after recent revelations that nude and explicit pictures of female service members had been posted online without their permission.
As military leaders scramble to track down those involved in publishing the photos, new details emerged about further proscribed online activity.
The investigation has now expanded to at least a dozen spinoff pages that posted the lewd images, and the Navy is now looking at the possibility that those involved in the activity included sailors from aircraft carriers and at major naval bases, a Navy official said.
Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Robert Neller signed the new social media guidelines in order to clarify that the military code of justice punishments that apply to social media sexual harassment are the same as those that apply to all other forms of sexual harassment.
"Marines must never engage in commentary or publish content on social networking platforms or through other forms of communication that harm good order and discipline or that bring discredit upon themselves, their unit, or the Marine Corps," the guidelines state.
Under the new guidelines, 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.