(NEW YORK) — In the wake of recent allegations that some Marines shared explicit images of women in a private Facebook group, one of the alleged victims spoke to ABC News to express her dismay at the invasion of privacy and relief that the matter has now come to light.
“I felt like my privacy had been taken away from me,” said former Marine Kally Wayne, who has accused her Marine ex-boyfriend of posting a private sex tape they had made together to the private Marines Facebook page.
“Having to go through being harassed for every day of my life for the past year because of a mistake I made four years ago is not anything anyone deserves to go through,” she added.
The bombshell allegations were first reported by Purple Heart recipient Thomas Brennan, a marine veteran turned journalist for “The War Horse,” who said he found the photos connected to the Facebook group.
“There were a nefarious few that decided to sexually exploit hundreds of women, and create something that could easily be weaponizable,” Brennan said.
Wayne joined the Marines in 2013 but was removed three years later for unrelated misconduct. She and many other female service members were the alleged targets of obscene and sexually explicit comments from members of the Facebook group before the posts were taken down.
“It is extremely widespread,” Wayne said. “If it happened to me its got to be happening to a lot of other females.”
Alleged victims were encouraged to come forward after the Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Robert Neller, released a video message on Tuesday condemning the use of the secret page. “It’s embarrassing to our Corps, to our families and to the nation,” he said in a nearly four-minute long address.
Neller said the denigration of women does not reflect what he thinks to be the behavior of “true warriors.”
As other alleged victims continue to come forward, there have been reports of hundreds and possibly even thousands of illicit photos shared among the tens of thousands of Marines that belong to the private page.
Wayne hopes that the news of the secret group and illicit photo sharing will help her and other women find justice.
“I just want to get justice,” she said. “It’s about time the Marines have been shown they have been doing wrong…I’m glad everyone is ready to stand against it.”
Responding to the allegations, a spokesperson for the Marines said that any “Marine who directly participates in, encourages, or condones such actions could also be subjected to criminal proceedings.”
Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Ronald Green is also expected to address the allegations to Congress on Wednesday during a previously scheduled hearing.
Wayne said she believes that the Marines must work to find a prompt solution to the problem of how women have been treated. “I think they should notice what is going on and if they see something going on they need to actually take action,” she said.
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