Explicit Photos Of Female Marines Posted Online, NCIS Opens Investigation

By Nethani Palmani | Mar 08, 2017 08:09 AM EST

An investigation was launched following online posting of potentially hundreds of explicit photos of current and former female Marines and other service members. The investigation is being led by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS), CNN has confirmed.

A private Facebook group called "Marines United" contained a link to a Google Drive folder, where the explicit photos were being stored, a US defense official told CNN. Members on the site seemingly encouraged others to submit photos of women without their knowledge.

Although it was not clear to the Defense Department how many Marines may be involved in potential wrongdoing, the cloud storage folder containing the explicit photos was removed at the request of the military. The matter was originally brought to the attention of the Marine Corps by a former Marine last month.

"We are thankful that Thomas Brennan, a Marine veteran, notified the Marine Corps and NCIS about what he witnessed on the 'Marines United' page," Marine Corps spokesman Capt. Ryan Alvis said in a statement. "It allowed us to take immediate action to have the explicit photos taken down and to prepare to support potential victims. We are exploring what actions should be taken to best address this form of harassment in the future."

Meanwhile, the Corps' highest-ranking non-commissioned officer Sgt. Maj. Ronald Green shared that the allegations of posting explicit photos of female Marine online absolutely go against the core values of the Marine Corps. He further said that the harassment hurt the female Marines, family members and civilians in the society, which directly attacked the ethos and legacy of Marine Corps.

The investigation is ongoing, and officials have yet to comment specifically on the case, according to NPR. Although not much of details are released, the Marine Corps revealed a deep concern about the allegations of posting the explicit photos online, especially that the behavior destroys morale, trust and degrades the individuals involved.

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