An investigation is being launched by the Defense Department following reports that allege some Marines shared naked photographs of female Marines, veterans, as well as other women on a secret Facebook page.
Marines Facing Potential Sexual Assault Charges
The photographs, some of which were allegedly taken without the subject’s knowledge, were shared on the Facebook page “Marines United.” Members of the Facebook page, which lists about 30,000 followers, include active-duty and retired male Marines, Navy Corpsman and British Royal Marines. According to officials, the page contained numerous photos of female military members, unidentifiable women in various stages of undress, and also included obscene comments regarding some of the women.
The photos have since been taken down and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service is now investigating.
Marine Corps Commandant, General Robert Neller, issued the following statement:
“For anyone to target one of our Marines, online or otherwise, in an inappropriate manner, is distasteful and shows an absence of respect. The success of every Marine, every team, every unit and command throughout our Corps is based on mutual trust and respect.”
At this point it is unclear how many active-duty Marines and other service members are being investigated.
The investigation was launched after it was revealed on The War Horse, a nonprofit news organization run by Marine veteran Thomas Brennan.
“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 E. Alvis said. “It allowed us to take immediate action to have the explicit photos taken down and to prepare to support potential victims.”
Marine Corps Sgt. Major Ronald Green issued this statement:
“As Marines, as human beings, you should be angry for the actions of a few. These negative behaviors are absolutely contrary to what we represent. It breaks the bond that hold us together; without trust, our family falters.
We must do a better job of teaching Marines what we expect of them in the social media realm. I expect all Marines to treat one another with dignity and respect, whether it be in public, behind closed doors or online.”
Sexual Assault Charges Facing Marines
According to an internal Marine Corps document, a Marine that is proven to have posted an explicit photo of another person could potentially be charged with violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. A Marine who directly participates in, encourages or condones such actions could also be subjected to criminal proceedings or adverse administrative actions.
What is “Sexual Assault”
Sexual assault is defined as any type of sexual contact or behavior that occurs without the explicit consent of a recipient. Included under the term sexual assault are the following: forced sexual intercourse, forcible sodomy, child molestation, incest, fondling, and attempted rape.
Addressing Sexual Assault Accusations
Sexual assault crimes are taken very seriously by the law. If you have been falsely accused you might assume that the charges will just be dropped because of how ludicrous they are to you. These types of allegations do not just “go away,” and you will need to be prepared if you are falsely accused.
Here are some things you can do:
1. Do not speak with police or investigators until you have contacted a criminal defense attorney. They might try different tactics to get you to admit to a crime you did not commit. Remember that they are always trying to build a case. Simply state that you will not speak with them unless there is an attorney present.
2. Get in touch with a qualified and experienced criminal defense attorney. You’ll want to do this as soon as possible, even if you just expect the charges to be dismissed. Prepare for what the allegations might bring. You will be asked to defend yourself, so you’ll need to be prepared. This means contacting witnesses that can testify or provide an alibi for you. You might also need to take psychological tests, or be asked to provide other evidence. Write down as many details as possible about what you remember.
3. Study. A criminal defense attorney will be able to guide you through fighting the allegations, but it’s in your best interest to understand the legal process and know your rights.
You will want to follow all the legal rules and precautions you can, and the best way you can protect yourself is by working with an experienced defense attorney such as Sevens Legal, APC.
If You Get Arrested for a Sex Crime
In 1966, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Miranda v. Arizona, that individuals arrested because they are believed to have committed a crime are allowed certain rights that must be explained to them. This must happen before any interrogation. It’s important to note that these rights only need to be read when a person has been taken into custody. “Miranda Rights” are meant to protect a suspect from self-incrimination and is protected under the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
Those “Miranda Rights” are as follows:
- You have the right to remain silent and refuse to answer questions.
- Anything you say may be used against you in a court of law.
- You have the right to consult an attorney before speaking to the police and to have an attorney present during questioning now or in the future.
- If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you before any questioning if you wish.
- If you decide to answer questions now without an attorney present, you will still have the right to stop answering at any time until you talk to an attorney. Knowing and understanding your rights as I have explained them to you, are you willing to answer my questions without an attorney present?
Why Work with a Criminal Defense Lawyer?
When faced with serious penalties or spending time in jail or prison, you need to retain a criminal defense lawyer to represent you in court. If you are facing an assault or battery charge, or a theft charge, a criminal defense attorney will investigate your case’s specifics and determine if you were wrongfully charged. They also will be able to identify if there are any other existing reasons for why the case should be dismissed before it goes to trial. If the charges are not dismissed before trial, a criminal attorney may be able negotiate a plea bargain with the prosecutor on your behalf. If a plea bargain cannot be negotiated, a criminal defense attorney will prepare your defense and represent you at trial.
Working with Sevens Legal, APC
After you have discussed the specifics of your case, your Sevens Legal, APC, will let you know your case’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as any possible risks associated with punishment and convictions you may face. Your Sevens Legal, APC, defense attorney can help negotiate a plea deal or whether the best course of action is to move forward to trial, while working constantly for your best interests.
Sevens Legal, APC, criminal defense lawyers put our experience to work for you. Every defendant deserves a zealous defense. To schedule your free consultation with one of our Sevens Legal, APC, criminal defense lawyers, call (619) 494-3440. Contact Sevens Legal, APC, today for a free consultation.
Criminal Defense Attorneys
3555 4th Ave.
San Diego, CA 92103
Phone: (619) 297-2800