Marisa Woytek: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Marisa Woytek Facebook page

Marisa Woytek pictured on her Facebook page.

A true American hero, U.S. Marine Lance Corporal Marisa Woytek, has stepped forward to talk about the sexual harassment she suffered because of a Facebook group. The allegations against a group of U.S. Marines stems from a bombshell report that was published by Reveal. The behavior on a Facebook page named Marines United was red flagged by The War Horse. The War Horse is operated by veteran Thomas Brennan, a Purple Heart recipient. Woytek says that photos from her private Instagram page were circulated on the Facebook group and with that came a barrage of sexual harassment and abuse. She was not the only victim.

Here’s what you need to know:


1. Woytek Says ‘Being Sexually Harassed Ruined the Marine Corps for Me’

Number of Marines investigated for sharing nude photos of service membersThe U.S. Marine Corps launched an investigation into lewd online activity among servicemen. Thousands of photos of naked female service members and vets were reportedly shared in a secret "Marines United" Facebook group, which has since been taken down. Paula Reid has a report. Subscribe to the "CBS Evening News" Channel HERE: http://bit.ly/1S7Dhik Watch Full Episodes of the "CBS Evening News" HERE: http://cbsn.ws/23XekKA Watch the latest installment of "On the Road," only on the "CBS Evening News," HERE: http://cbsn.ws/23XwqMH Follow "CBS Evening News" on Instagram: http://bit.ly/1T8icTO Like "CBS Evening News" on Facebook HERE: http://on.fb.me/1KxYobb Follow the "CBS Evening News" on Twitter HERE: http://bit.ly/1O3dTTe Follow the "CBS Evening News" on Google+ HERE: http://bit.ly/1Qs0aam Get your news on the go! Download CBS News mobile apps HERE: http://cbsn.ws/1Xb1WC8 Get new episodes of shows you love across devices the next day, stream local news live, and watch full seasons of CBS fan favorites anytime, anywhere with CBS All Access. Try it free! http://bit.ly/1OQA29B — The "CBS Evening News" premiered as a half-hour broadcast on Sept. 2, 1963. Check local listings for CBS Evening News broadcast times.2017-03-05T23:37:26.000Z

The Reveal report says that in January 2017, a Google Drive link was posted to the some-30,000 members of the Marines United page. That link led to a collection of photos showing female U.S. Marines in their private lives. The report adds that the drive link included personal information about the Marines.

In an interview with the Washington Post, Woytek said, “Even if I could, I’m never reenlisting. Being sexually harassed online ruined the Marine Corps for me, and the experience.” Thanks to the reporting from Reveal and War Horse, Woytek says the other victims “have a voice now.”

The Washington Post reports that the former Marine and defense contractor who posted the link has since been fired.

One photo that was referenced in the Reveal report says that one user commented on a photo of a female Marine bending over to pick up her gear. A commenter wrote, “take her out back and pound her out.” While someone else followed up with, “And butthole. And throat. And ears. Both of them. Video it though… for science.”


2. Woytek Got Married to a Fellow Marine in October 2016; Shortly After the Couple Returned From Active Duty

Marisa Woytek Instagram page

Woytek and her husband, Zach Woytek. (Instagram)

Woytek nee Black married fellow Marine Zachary Woytek in Fulshear, Texas, in October 2016, according to a wedding announcement in the Tri-City Tribune. The announcement says that the couple had both just returned from serving in Iraq. Woytek was on board the USS Boxer while her husband was on the USS New Orleans.

Though the couple’s The Knot page gives their wedding date as being June 2017 and taking place in Costa Mesa, California.

The announcement continues, “The couple is making their home in Vista, California and have one and a half years left of active duty. After their enlistments are over they plan to return to College Station, Texas and attend Texas A&M University.”

According to her page, Woytek lives in Oceanside, California. She jokes in her about section, “I’m just here for the free beer.”

On his Facebook page, Zachary Woytek says that he works in Marine recruitment. He is from Columbus, Texas.


3. Woytek’s Courage Is Getting Huge Props on Twitter

Woytek’s courage for standing up in the issue of Marines United is being lauded on Twitter. Here are some of the most positive messages:


4. Her Father Is a Former Cop & Marine as Well as a Golf Entrepreneur

John Black Marisa Woytek

Woytek pictured with her father, John Black. (Facebook)

Woytek’s parents are John Black and Barbara Firebaugh of Costa Mesa, as per the Marine’s wedding announcement. According to Black’s LinkedIn page, he is a retired U.S. Marine, serving as a helicopter mechanic and crew chief, attaining the rank of sergeant. He left the corps in August 1992 having joined in November 1986. From there, Black became a cop in the Rialto Police Department in San Bernardino, California. He left the force in November 2015.

In retirement, Black went on to found, Teeclaw. The company manufactures a different type of golf tee that is ideal for playing on synthetic turf. Black says in the company’s mission statement, “Make no mistake, our professional military and law enforcement backgrounds have framed our trustworthy business approach. Once our business is established, we will donate a portion of our profits to those men and women wounded or killed in the military and law enforcement professions. This is our way of staying real to our principles and remembering our fallen brethren.”

https://www.instagram.com/p/2uo7BRjVuF/?taken-by=marisasmodernlife

Woytek wrote about her father in a poignant Instagram post saying, “You know, people in the military experience a bond with each other. It’s a brotherhood, a sisterhood, a friendship. It’s a deep bond that active duty and veterans can’t really put into words. But to me it’s so much more, when that bond is with my father.”


5. The NCIS Is ‘Investigating Incidents Related to the Marines United Group’

NCIS & USACIDC Special Agents (documentary)The United States Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) is the primary law enforcement agency of the United States Department of the Navy. It investigates activities concerning crimes against or by United States Navy and U.S. Marine Corps personnel, along with national security, counter-intelligence, and counter-terrorism cases, and is the successor organization to the former Naval Investigative Service (NIS). The United States Army Criminal Investigation Command (USACIDC, usually abbreviated as just CID) investigates felony crimes and serious violations of military law within the United States Army. The command is a separate military investigative force with investigative autonomy; CID special agents report through the CID chain of command to the USACIDC Commanding General, who reports directly to the Chief of Staff of the Army and the Secretary of the Army. By position, the USACIDC commanding general is also the Army's Provost Marshal General.2015-05-31T09:05:37.000Z

Commandant Gen. Robert B. Neller told the Washington Post shortly after news of the scandal broke:

For anyone to target one of our Marines, online or otherwise, in an inappropriate manner, is distasteful and shows an absence of respect. I expect Marines to give their all to be the best human beings, teammates, and Marines possible.

While a Marine Corps spokesman, Captain Ryan Alvis, told Post that the Naval Criminal Investigation Service is investigating “incident related to the Marines United group.”

While in a statement, the ranking Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee, Rep. Adam Smith said, “This behavior by Marines and former Marines is degrading, dangerous, and completely unacceptable. The military men and women who proudly volunteer to serve their country should not have to deal with this kind of reprehensible conduct.”

Congresswoman Speier on Miliary Rape Senate Hearings and Marine FB PagesCongresswoman Jackie Speier responds to the Senate hearings on military rape and a letter from General Amos regarding concerns she had raised about Marine Corps Facebook pages denigrating female Marines.2013-06-05T17:51:52.000Z

In 2013, California Congresswoman Jackie Speier, drew attention to a similar Facebook group. Rep. Speier sent a report on her findings to generals in March 2013. The then-commandant of the Marine Corps, General James Amos, pulled back on an investigation. Gen. Amos said that there was a lack of funding with which to monitor Marines’ social media activities.

Reveal reports that in the wake of that scandal, 12 Marines were reprimanded for their behavior online. The now-deleted Facebook page at the center of that scandal was titled FN Wook.