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Knight Joins Effort To Crack Down On Sexual Harassment in Military

Legislation Would Help Prevent Future 'Marines United' Scandals

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Washington, DC, April 7, 2017 | Daniel Outlaw (202-225-1956) | comments
 Representative Steve Knight (CA-25) cosponsored of legislation introduced this week that would protect military service members from nonconsensual sharing of private, intimate media by other military members.

The Protecting the Rights of IndiViduals Against Technological Exploitation, or PRIVATE Act, authored by Representative Martha McSally (AZ-2), would address a recently-discovered scandal in which individuals linked with the “Marines United” Facebook group were posting nude and other intimate photos of women as well as their personal information without their consent or knowledge. 

Knight, a veteran of the U.S. Army, is an outspoken proponent of halting the behavior immediately. Last month he participated in a meeting with United States Marine Corps General Robert Neller about the issue and highlighted the need to quickly enact rules to crack down on offenders and the culture that allowed these actions.

“Sexual harassment and abuse should always be condemned as it is harmful for its victims, and in this case a national security concern that threatens the capabilities of our forces,” said Rep. Knight. “We must adopt policies to hold the perpetrators responsible and stop this from happening now”

Military leaders are experiencing difficulty prosecuting wrongdoers due to inconsistencies and ambiguity in current law. The PRIVATE Act would correct this by strengthening and clarifying the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) to allow commanders greater flexibility to discipline members of the military who commit such crimes. 

“When service members betray the trust of one another it violates the rights of their fellow troops and destroys the unit cohesion that makes our armed forces the finest in the world,” continued Knight. “I thank Representative McSally for her leadership on this issue and I am eager to solve this disgraceful problem.”
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