Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Female midshipmen among victims in shower-video ring

Meghann Myers, Military Times, Mar 25

As two sailors head to court-martial for their involvement in a ring that allegedly swapped videos of female officers undressing, allegations are emerging that female midshipmen were also recorded in a shower changing area aboard the submarine.
Three sailors have been charged with filming officers and female mids, who were temporarily aboard the ballistic missile submarine Wyoming, according to charge sheets obtained by Navy Times through the Freedom of Information Act. Previous accounts have only stated that female officers were filmed.
The students were allegedly recorded between March and June 2014, though charges show two sailors were allegedly using their cell phone cameras on board as early as August 2013.
The charges do not specify how many female mids or officers may have been recorded. This number could range into dozens of women, according to a Navy official familiar with the investigation, given the number of mids on summer cruises and female officers from other crews that were aboard during the 10 months during which recordings are alleged to have been taken.
Late last year, midshipmen who were aboard Wyoming at the time were notified that they had potentially been video recorded, the official said, and were offered victims' services. No evidence of the recordings has emerged in the course of the investigation, according to another Navy official.
Electronics Technician 2nd Class Joseph Bradley, 25, is charged with distributing videos and destroying evidence. And Missile Technician 3rd Class Brandon McGarity, 25, is charged with failing to report the videos and making a false official statement, according to charge sheets.
Bradley and McGarity are the first of seven sailors charged to be referred to court-martial for recording, distributing, or failing to report the illicit videos of several female officers, some of the first to serve in submarine crews.
According to his charges, Bradley asked an unnamed MT3 to send him recordings of the women while at the sub's Kings Bay, Georgia, home port.
He is charged with three counts of distributing the recordings, as well as obstructing the investigation by destroying the recordings after the case was opened.
Bradley joined the Navy in 2010 and has been attached to Wyoming's blue crew since summer 2011.
McGarity faces two counts of failing to report the videos, as well as making a false official statement to a senior chief about whether he was aware of the videos.
He joined the Navy in 2011 and has been attached to Wyoming's gold crew since March 2013.
Neither sailor's attorney was immediately reachable Tuesday.
As of Tuesday, five more sailors — one from Trident Training Facility Kings Bay and the rest from the Wyoming crew — have been charged. Navy officials removed their names from their charge sheets, saying that the names of those accused would only be released for charges referred to court-martial. An article 32 is a preliminary hearing similar to a grand jury hearing, after which a convening official can decide whether to refer the case to court-martial.
"Each of the Sailors accused in the USS Wyoming case are in different stages of the adjudication process," said Submarine Force Atlantic spokesman Cmdr. Tommy Crosby. "Of the Sailors that have charges pending against them, currently five of them are in a preferred status and two are in a referred status. In conjunction with JAG instruction 5800.7E, the names and other personal identifiable information is being withheld for those who are still in the preferred status, until at such time their adjudication status changes."
Bradley and McGarity are two of three charged sailors who waived their right to an Article 32 hearing, Crosby said.

The remaining SUBGRU 10 sailors charged are:

• An MT2 charged with one count conspiracy and three counts of distributing videos. He received videos from a fellow MT2, then transferred them to an MT3.
•An MT2 charged with using a personal electronic device underway, filming female midshipmen and making two false official statements.
•An MT3 charged with two counts of conspiracy and three counts of distributing videos. He noticed an exchange of videos between two MT2s and asked to receive them as well.
•An MT3 charged with one count conspiracy, one count using a [personal electronic device] underway, one count viewing a private area and one count filming a private area. In addition to filming midshipmen, he is also accused of receiving videos of female officers from an MT2 in exchange for two energy drinks.

Two more missile technicians went through an Article 32 hearing in Mayport, Florida, on March 12. SUBGRU 10 boss Rear Adm. Charles Richard has not decided whether to send them to trial, Crosby confirmed.
The sailor assigned to TTF Kings Bay faces an Article 32 hearing on March 27 in Mayport, and is accused of two counts of conspiracy, disrespecting a superior commissioned officer, violating a lawful general regulation, four counts of recording a private area, four counts of viewing a private area, and three counts of distributing recordings of a private area.

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