Marines Nude Photo Scandal Fallout Begins

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Q: May a service member need a court-martial defense attorney for the non-consensual publishing of explicit photos online?

We’ve all heard that posting inappropriate content on social media has derailed the plans of college-bound freshman who later find their admissions offers rescinded after their dream school discovers the indiscretion. Well, it turns out the military doesn’t look favorably upon inappropriate social media posts either. And the potential punishment service members—who should exhibit better judgment than high school students– may face for their poor judgment may be much harsher. And potentially career-ending.

Just ask the first service member to be court-martialed “related to the non-consensual sharing of explicit photos on the ‘Marines United’ Facebook group”. After pleading guilty, the marine in question reportedly received the following sentence:

  • 10 days confinement
  • rank reduction by three grades
  • forfeiture of 2/3 of monthly pay
  • impending administrative separation process.

Reportedly, the Marines United scandal involves a private “men’s only” Facebook group wherein hundreds of nude and/or sexually explicit photos of current and retired female Marines and other service members have been posted online without the women’s consent. Probes into similar conduct by other branch members have been launched as well.

Administrative Separations, Non-Judicial Punishments (“NJP”) and Adverse Administrative Actions have also resulted from the scandal.

With the military cracking down hard in recent years on sexual misconduct of all kinds, accused service members need a skilled civilian military defense attorney to aggressively defend them. Relying on a court-appointed attorney from the defense counsel, who is often overworked and inexperienced could result in a disastrous outcome.

As in many differences between the civilian and military world, the repercussions and potential punishment in the military court system are far more severe. Depending on the charges, if convicted, a service member could lose their pay, their career, their reputation and their freedom.

If you are a service member now facing accusations, have been charged, or want to appeal a conviction, the attorneys at Elkus, Sisson & Rosenstein will develop an individualized and aggressive defense on your behalf. Contact us for a free consultation.

From our offices in Colorado, we represent service members of all ranks and all branches whether stationed at home or abroad and we have extensive experience defending high profile cases.

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