The Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) in the US is investigating the dissemination of hundreds of nude photographs of current and former female marines.
The images were posted on "Marines United," a restricted Facebook-group, by military personnel and veterans.
The page reportedly promoted sexual violence and comprised of misogynistic behaviour.
The photos were uploaded on a secure Google-Drive folder and have now been removed.
US Marines Corp hit by nude photo scandal
Marine Corps is "deeply concerned" over the case
The Marine Corps said it "is deeply concerned about allegations regarding the derogatory online comments and sharing of salacious photographs in a closed website. This behavior destroys morale, erodes trust, and degrades the individual."
Facebook group members asked others to post nude photos
The Defence Department is unsure about how many current and former military personnel could be involved.
The closed Facebook group had around 30,000 members who solicited others to submit nude photos of female service members.
Some of the female Marines - whose explicit photos were posted online - had their name, rank and duty stations listed.
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Former Marine brought attention to the scandal
Thomas Brennan, a Marine veteran, brought the matter to the Marine Corps and NCIS' attention, by first reporting it on an investigative reporting news website called Reveal.
The Marine Corps thanked Brennan, saying his actions "allowed us to take immediate action to have the explicit photos taken down and to prepare to support potential victims."
US military receives 16 sexual assault cases every day
The US military received around 6,000 sexual assault reports in 2015, similar in number as 2014; according to data released by the Department of Defence in May 2016. A large number of these crimes still remain underreported.
10 Mar 2017
Victims of US Marines' nude photo sharing racket speak out
Two victims of a massive nude photo sharing network in the US Marine Corps -Erika Butner and Marisa Woytek -have requested top commander Gen Robert Neller for personal involvement with victims.
While explicit photos of Butner were circulated, clothed images of Woytek drew sexually violent comments.
The racket reportedly began after the women were assigned in the first marine infantry unit on January 5.
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