13:40 GMT23 September 2020
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    Following an investigation into nude photo sharing by US Marines on Facebook and elsewhere on the internet, an enlisted servicemember with the Corps has been sentenced to 10 days in a military jail, and others may soon meet the same fate.

    Announced Monday, a military court sentenced an enlisted Marine to 10 days in the brig for participating in the posting, sharing and downloading of tens of thousands of illicit images of female service members, typically without their permission or consent.

    The invitation-only Facebook site "Marines United" directed thousands of members to dark web servers containing gigabytes of illicit materials, as well as hosting an active chat area in which members exchanged frank views on the quality of the content displayed.

    The sentenced Marine pleaded guilty to charges at a June 29 court-martial, and is believed to be the first of many who will be convicted in the scandal that rocked the Corps and initiated an internal investigation and a congressional inquiry, according to Military.com.

    In addition to the 10-day sentence, the unnamed Marine will be docked two-thirds of one month of pay and be demoted three ranks, while the force is said to be considering how to "administratively" discharge him.

    Officials within the service have claimed that Marines United had an estimated 30,000 members before being shut down, but just 89 people — 67 active-duty or reserve Marines, and 22 civilians — can be proven to have been legally tied to the salacious content.

    Two other people have been given "administrative separations," and seven unnamed persons have received what are referred to as non-judicial punishments in the scandal, according to Military.com

    The Marines also detailed 22 other "adverse administrative actions," according to the Monday briefing.

    "These cases span beyond the Marines United Facebook page and include a spectrum of behavior," asserted the Monday news release.

    "While many cases involve photos, clothed or explicit, some involve verbal remarks without images," the statement added.

    General Glenn Walters, the assistant commandant of the Marine Corps and the current head of the group investigating ongoing cultural misogyny in the force, has sought to address the root causes of the behavior.

    "I think it's important to recognize that our understanding of the issue has evolved over time," he said.

    "How we handle cases today is much different and more effective as a result of what occurred with Marines United. 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."


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    online abuse, dark web, trial, sentencing, Marines United, US Marine Corps, Facebook, Washington DC, United States
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