Gloria Allred representing former, active-duty Marine in nude photo scandal

Erika Butner, Gloria Allred
Former Marine Erika Butner, right, stands with attorney Gloria Allred holding photos of Butner in uniform as she and another active-duty female Marine said photographs of them were secretly posted online without their consent, at a news conference in Los Angeles, Wednesday, March 8, 2017. Nude photos of other servicewomen were also posted. Gen. Robert Neller, the Marine Corps commandant, has condemned the photo sharing and urged victims to report abuse. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Noted women’s rights lawyer Gloria Allred is representing a former Marine and an active-duty Marine who came forward Wednesday to say photographs taken of them were secretly posted online without their consent along with nude photos of other servicewomen that have led to threatening replies and a military investigation.

It comes as another former Marine who helped found a victims’ group said the social media postings have been going on for more than a decade but superiors ignored complaints from female service members. Gen. Robert Neller, the Marine Corps commandant, has condemned the photo sharing and urged victims to report abuse.

Active-duty Marine Marisa Woytek and former Marine Erika Butner appeared at a news conference in Los Angeles to applaud the investigation into sharing of naked photos of women on a secret Facebook page called “Marines United.”

Woytek and Butner each said they learned that clothed photos were posted without their consent.

Butner, 23, who served for four years before leaving the Marines in 2016, said she contacted investigators in January and told them there was an online storage drive that contained “indecent photos of women from all military services, organized by name, rank and even where they were stationed.”

“As a Marine Corps veteran, I am disheartened and disgusted with this scandal,” she said.

Allred said there may be hundreds of such postings and that they prompted pornographic and violent replies, including some recommending that female Marines be raped or shot.

Butner and Allred said some women who have spoken out have been attacked in what they called “victim shaming.”

Meanwhile, a former Marine, Erin Kirk-Cuomo, said servicewomen have been reporting websites like “Marines United” for more than 10 years but were ignored. She said the issue was “laughed off by military leadership and members as harmless, expected, or invited.”

“This behavior is not harmless, and we demand an end to it,” said Kirk-Cuomo, who recently co-founded a group, Not In My Marine Corps, dedicated to sharing incidents of sexual assault and harassment.

The Naval Criminal Investigative Service is investigating the photo sharing. It’s not clear how many active-duty Marines and other service members were involved or are under investigation.

However, an internal Marine Corps document obtained by The Associated Press said a former Marine maintained the Google Drive where the photos were shared, and that it had a following of about 30,000.

If you have any information on people posting these photos, you can text 27463″ with NCIS at the beginning of the message.

___

Associated Press Pentagon reporter Lolita C. Baldor contributed to this report.

WNCT-TV 9 On Your Side provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s