Ring of Sailors Secretly Filmed Nude Female Crewmembers for Months; Called It ‘Capturing Pokémon’
According to a new report from NavyTimes, an organized ring of male sailors on the ballistic missile sub Wyoming filmed their female crewmates without consent over a period of nearly a year, from August to November 2013 and March to June 2014. One of the sailors interviewed in the course of the investigation said he learned of the practice when a crew member “approached myself and informed me that he had ‘captured some Pokemon.'”
A detailed new report obtained by Navy Times as part of the Freedom of Information Act says that the sailors allegedly hid their cellphones in a “secret hole” in order to film women showering and changing, and then shared the videos with other male members of the crew. One sailor admitted that he and other men “filmed every woman each time she took a shower,” and that the men would record several showers a day. In total, twelve of the Wyoming’s male sailors knew about the filming, although only three of those men actually filmed the women; of the twelve, Navy Times says “eight were court-martialed (one was acquitted), three went to captain’s mast, and one was released with no charges.”
An investigation into the Wyoming ring was launched in 2014 after a chief of another boat got wind of the practice. During the course of investigation, male Wyoming crewmembers who knew about the ring and disapproved of the practice said embarrassment, peer pressure, and fear of punishment prevented them from reporting the filming. One sailor explained,
I was still somewhat new to the division and so I didn’t want to say anything because the higher ranking MTs [Missile Technicians] would always treat the lower ranks like trash and would always try to put them down. So I didn’t want to worsen my life more than it already was, so I tried to ignore it and stay out of it for fear of being disowned by the division.
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