WASHINGTON — Fewer than 10 women victims have come forward so far in the investigation into nude photos of female service members that were posted online without their permission, the top Marine general said Friday. He pleaded with female Marines to “trust us” and reach out to make complaints or seek help.
“I need their help,” said Gen. Robert Neller, the Marine commandant. “I’m going to ask them to trust us. I understand why that might be a bit of a reach for them right now. But I can’t fix this. … The only way there is going to be accountability in this is somebody comes forward and tells us what happened to them.”
Former and current female Marines have said their photographs and those of women in other services were shared on social media without their consent. The other military services say that they are now looking into the matter to see if their service members are involved, but they say so far no other victims have come forward.
Nude photographs of female Marines and other women were shared on the Facebook page “Marines United,” and the accompanying posts included obscene and threatening comments.
The Naval Criminal Investigative Service launched an investigation into the matter and is urging victims of the photo-sharing to come forward. NCIS says it has received numerous tips.
Neller expressed frustration and disgust at the nude-photo sharing. He said there are a lot of unanswered questions about what happened, how many people or Marines were involved, and what some of the legal parameters will be for punishing service members who posted or shared the photos or who made threatening comments.