The US Navy (and by extension, the US Marine Corps) has now made it a crime to post nude photos of someone without the subject’s consent.
An interim revision to regulation now prohibits Sailors and Marines from posting intimate photos “if the person making the distribution or broadcast does so without legal justification or excuse.”
Any failure to follow guidelines will be considered a violation of Navy regulations and subject to being charged under Article 92, which is failure to obey a lawful order.
The regulations come as a clear response to the Marines United scandal, which involved US and British Royal Marine veterans and active duty exchanging nudes of ex-girlfriends and servicemembers on their Facebook group.
Allegedly, over 31.8 GB of material from the scandal still exists and is very much for sale on the dark web.
“The addition of Article 1168 ‘Nonconsensual distribution or broadcasting of an image’ to Navy Regulations serves to underscore leadership’s commitment to eliminating degrading behaviors that erode trust and weaken the Navy and Marine Corps Team,” said Rear Adm. Dawn Cutler in statement Wednesday evening. “It provides commanders another tool to maintain good order and discipline by holding Sailors and Marines accountable for inappropriate conduct in the non-consensual sharing of intimate imagery. “
“This article adds the potential charge of Article 92 ‘Failure to obey [an] order or regulation’ to the possible charges that can be used against an alleged perpetrator,” she added. “Each case of alleged misconduct will be evaluated on its own facts and circumstances.”
Under new regulations, “intimate image” is defined as “any visual depiction, including by electronic means, that includes another person who is identifiable from the depiction itself or from information conveyed in connection with the depiction; depicts that person engaging in sexually explicit conduct or depicts the private area of that person; and taken under circumstances in which the person depicted had a reasonable expectation of privacy.”
According to the Navy Times, former Navy JAG and private defense attorney Brian Bouffard claims the language of the regulation will make prosecution difficult, such as the “reckless disregard language” that implies a personal vendetta to hurt someone.
“But if you don’t know a person, how could you know that about them?” Bouffard said. “Ultimately prosecuting these types of cases will probably require a witness to testify that they were either humiliated or harmed, etc., for the government to make an effective case.”
A spokesman for the Marines United Facebook group that gained controversy after disseminating nude photos of female service members claims the PR fiasco is proof why women shouldn’t be allowed to join the infantry.
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