Nude photo-sharing scandal: US military in plea for victims to come forward

America's top marine has urged women affected by a nude photo-sharing scandal rocking the military to come forward.

The controversy was sparked by Facebook group, Marines United, where users shared explicit images of female servicewomen, often with obscene and threatening comments.

The private page reportedly had 30,000 members of the elite force, including US Marines, veterans and some British Royal Marines, before it was taken down.

Fewer than 10 women have formally come forward.

General Robert Neller pleaded with others who may have been involved to "trust" the military.

The marine commandant said: "I need their help. 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."

Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, Ronald Green, has claimed the Facebook group at the centre of the scandal was just the "tip of the spear".

The Pentagon has pledged a full investigation and US defence secretary Jim Mattis said anyone involved in alleged sharing of nude photos of their colleagues was guilty of "egregious violations of the fundamental values".

Former and current female marines have said their photographs and those of other servicewomen were shared on social media without their consent.

Other branches of the US armed forces are also investigating, but so far no other victims have complained.

Current marine Marisa Woytek and former marine Erika Butner recently appeared together at a news conference in Los Angeles.

The pair said clothed photos of them were posted without their consent. Woytek said images of her drew comments from men advocating sexual violence.

Butner said one person who commented on her photo asked others to share nudes of her.

She also claimed there was an online storage drive containing "indecent photos of women from all military services, organised by name, rank and even where they were stationed".

The women's lawyer Gloria Allred said there may be hundreds of such postings and they prompted pornographic and violent replies, including some recommending female Marines be raped or shot.

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