OCEANSIDE (CBSLA.com) — Alleged victims of the Marines nude-photo scandal and attorney Gloria Allred met with reporters Thursday to blast the military for what they deem a slow call to action.
Photos of nude female Marines were posted and circulated online without their consent. The pictures also included shots of the women who were unaware their pictures were being taken.
The two alleged victims and their attorney all decried a lack of action. They said getting basic information, like the number of male Marines involved, has been difficult.
“As someone that has spoken out and has received backlash on social media, I can understand their worry.” said Camp Pendleton Marine Marisa Woytek, an alleged victim of the scandal.
She stepped off the base Thursday afternoon to share her frustrations about the scandal and a now-defunct Facebook page called Marines United that feature unauthorized photo sharing of the women.
The other victim, a retired member of the military, Erika Butner. They, along with Allred, demanded more transparency and speed in the investigation.
“My end goal is to ensure that revenge porn and sharing a photo without someone’s consent, without their permission, is a federal law. That is my top goal,” said Butner.
Woytek and Butner said they know hundreds of women who have seen their pictures posted on the site and they want to know why the perpetrators aren’t being held accountable.
Allred sent a letter in March to the chairman of the Armed Services Committee asking that her clients and other victims be allowed to testify about the scandal. The response she got was that sexual assault and harassment victims whose cases have been decided on by a judge would make up the panel.
“Why have they specifically ruled out other survivors? And that would be most of them by the way, because most of them have never gotten to the point where there has been an adjudication of their report,” Allred said.
The Marine Corps and Navy have now banned service members from distributing nude photos without the consent of the person in the picture. Allred calls the new regulation “weak,” saying it have should have stronger language if the intent is to hold the guilty ones accountable.
The new military regulation was announced last week. In the Marine Times, a report of the scandal said that 14 active-duty Marines and one active-duty sailor have been identified by NCIS investigators as people who may have illegally shared the photos.