A Marine was just sentenced for the first time in connection with ‘Marines United’ nude-photo scandal

Marine salute
A Marine mans the rails of USS Bataan in a parade of ships as part of Fleet Week in New York City, May 25, 2016. Sgt. Rebecca L. Floto/US Marine Corps

A US Marine pleaded guilty on June 29 to nonconsenually sharing nude photos on the Marines United Facebook group, according to a Marine Corps press release.

The unidentified Marine was “sentenced to 10 days confinement, reduction of rank by three grades, and a forfeiture of two-thirds of one month’s pay,” the Corps said. “Additionally, the process to administratively separate the Marine is underway.”

The Marine was not identified 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, Military.com reported, citing a Corps spokesman.

The Marine was the first to be sentenced in connection with the Marines United Facebook group photo scandal that broke in March, when it was discovered that about 30,000 Marines were sharing nude photos of colleagues along with personal information and even encouraging sexual assault.

The Naval Criminal Investigative Service has identified 89 “persons of interest” — 22 civilians and 67 active-duty or reserve Marines — linked to the scandal since February, the Corps said.

Five of these persons are still being investigated, while 62 have been given to Marine commands for dispositions, the Corps said.

These dispositions thus far have netted “one summary court-martial, two administrative separations, seven non-judicial punishments, and 22 adverse administrative actions.”

“These cases span beyond the Marines United Facebook page and include a spectrum of behaviour,” the Corps said.

Since the scandal, the Corps has updated policies, training and orders to prevent nonconsenual nude-photo sharing, including the Marine Leader’s Handbook, which was created in April, the Corps said. All allegations of such misconduct are also now reviewed and investigated by NCIS.

“I think it’s important to recognise that our understanding of the issue has evolved over time,” Gen. Glenn Walters Walters said in the Corps press release. “How we handle cases today is much different and more effective as a result of what occurred with Marines United.”