Pentagon: Va. Guardsmen filmed unit females in shower
Stars and Stripes
WASHINGTON — At least eight male Virginia Army National Guardsmen could face charges for photographing and filming female soldiers in the shower last fall, service officials announced Friday.
The incidents took place at Fort Dix, N.J., while the unit was preparing for deployment to Iraq, but the pictures and recordings weren’t discovered until May 21. Army spokesman Lt. Col. Christopher Garver said as many as 21 female soldiers from the 266th Military Police Company may have been victimized by the men.
“We’re taking this very seriously, as we would any allegation of misconduct,” Garver said. “We’re trying to get to the bottom of what happened and make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
The company deployed to Basra, Iraq, in early December 2008 with about 150 soldiers.
Garver said the women identified in the recordings have already been contacted by the battalion commander, the unit chaplains and victim advocates about the crimes which may have occurred and the psychological resources available to them.
He could not say how the photographs and video of the showers were discovered, but said Army officials launched an investigation just a day later, on May 22. Army Criminal Investigation Command is working with Multi-National Force–Iraq officials in the criminal proceedings.
Garver said officials do not believe the images were distributed to the public. Army investigators would not say what charges the men could face until after their full report is finished.
All of the men and women soldiers involved in the incident are still deployed, and Garver said there are no plans to remove them from Iraq before the investigation is complete.