SEMPER FI?

Marines Sent Revenge Porn to Her Parents

‘Kate’ says she regrets sleeping with a married man, but she never expected he and his wife would send her nude photos to her mom and dad.

Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast

“Kate” was afraid to come forward ever since her ex-boyfriend and his wife, both reservists in the U.S. Marine Corps, emailed her nude photos to her parents this past December.

She’s not afraid anymore.

Kate said she contacted The Daily Beast because she feared her photos had been posted in the Marines United nude-photo-sharing scandal. Though no photos of Kate have yet been discovered online, she said she hopes telling her story will spare other women a lifetime of worry that their intimate photos will shared, seemingly forever.

“I just want it to stop,” Kate, a 22-year-old civilian from Dallas said. “I would like to stop being afraid that someday, my pictures are going to be online or that my parents are going to be contacted again with more photos or terrible emails. I would like to just move on from this.”

The married Marine reservist couple doesn’t seem ready to let her move on, though.

“You’re worthless if you think for a second that talking to a reporter is going to do anything other than show the entire world what a slut [Kate] was,” Vincent Provines wrote to Kate’s parents minutes after he was contacted by The Daily Beast, according to an email they provided.

Provines, 23, is a second lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves, and his wife, Cesaria Marquez, 24, is a lance corporal in Fourth Marine Logistics Group.

“I could put your saggy tittied ugly ass nude pictures everywhere and watch you burn,” Marquez wrote to Kate in February, using a Yahoo email account in her husband’s name. “You’re not sorry. Yet. But I’ll make sure you will be.”

Since the Marines United scandal broke in early March, media attention has focused on the female servicemembers whose nude photos were posted and shared by current and former male Marines and U.S. Navy Corpsman in a private Facebook group. But servicemembers are not the only women being harmed by the military’s ongoing problem with non-consensual photo-sharing—and not every Marine who sends out revenge porn is a man, or from the enlisted ranks.

The Daily Beast has obtained numerous emails, Facebook messages, and Tumblr blog comments sent to Kate by Marquez and Provines.

Marquez could not be reached for comment, despite repeated attempts. The Daily Beast spoke with Provines about his relationship with Kate.

“I knew her a long time ago,” he said at first, before elaborating. “I knew her in college, we dated… almost two years… I don’t want really anything to do with her at all… she’s had her issues before, I mean I don’t want to get into any of that… I think every man has a crazy ex-girlfriend in his life, you know?”

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Kate said she and Provines became romantically involved in 2014 while both were attending the University of Oklahoma. During their relationship, Kate said she sent Provines a few nude photos of herself. They broke up in 2015 after Kate said he expressed interest in seeing other people. Two weeks later, she saw him at a Marine Corps ball with a female Marine on his arm; that woman was Marquez, whom he later married in September 2016.

But while he was married, Provines got back in contact with Kate. She said that between Dec. 16 and Dec. 20, 2016, they had sex twice, and she sent him another nude photo.

“I’m sorry for what I did, I really am,” Kate said of the affair. “I wish I could go back. It was the biggest mistake of my life to do that, and it was wrong of me.”

A week later, Kate got a phone call from her mom. Kate’s parents, who will not be identified by name to protect their daughter’s privacy, received and opened a three-paragraph email sent from Provines’s Yahoo email account that contained several nude pictures of Kate, as well as a screenshot of messages showing that Kate and Provines had sex. Kate’s father called Provines, who he said confessed to sending the email and photos.

“We love our daughter,” Kate’s father told The Daily Beast. “I called [Provines] and said, ‘destroy the photos, and you won’t ever hear from me again.’ I was afraid to put [Kate] through whatever he would or wouldn’t do. I just didn’t want her to have to worry the rest of her life, thinking, ‘I sent these photos to a person with whom I thought I had a loving relationship,’ and later he’s going to use these photos to hurt you.”

When asked by The Daily Beast why Kate or her parents did not report Provines or Marquez to law enforcement authorities, Kate’s dad said, “[We] had no confidence that law enforcement or reporting him to the Marines would do anything… but when we heard about the nude-photo scandal, [we] thought maybe the Marines would do something, and I told her that she should report it to NCIS [Naval Criminal Investigative Service].”

Kate said she contacted NCIS, but she said they never returned her call.

“I thought I was going to die of humiliation,” Kate said. “I mean, I know it was wrong to lie to them [about having a sexual relationship with Provines], I’m not saying I was in the right here, but I actually am close to my parents, so to be outed like that—I thought it was the end of the world. That’s what it felt like.”

The harassment allegedly did not stop with the emailed photos. In a series of Facebook messages, Marquez advised Kate to kill herself and derided her parents as “ignorant,” “classless,” “fake,” “dense,” and “dimwitted.” Marquez also claimed responsibility for the December email, bearing Kate’s photos, that was sent to Kate’s parents.

“I’m not to be trifled with,” Marquez wrote Kate on Facebook Messenger. “Making Vince tell your dad was purely for my entertainment. You don’t want to see what I’ll do to ruin you.”

Minutes after denying Kate’s claims to The Daily Beast by phone, Provines, using the username “justvincepro” that he has employed repeatedly on Tumblr, sent a direct message via Kate’s Tumblr blog, in which he blamed his wife, Marquez, for sending the nude photos to Kate’s parents.

“I just wanted to tell you that I didn’t know that I had those pictures,” Provines wrote to Kate on Friday. “I knew I had two of them. I’m sorry they got sent to your parents. I didn’t want to do that. She took my things and did that. The pictures don’t exist. I don’t have any of them. I don’t post them to anything. I never have. I’m sorry that I didn’t treat you or her right.”

“Please just leave me alone,” Kate responded.

“That’s really all I want too,” Provines wrote. “Leave me alone. Quit making this any more than it should be.”

The Daily Beast asked Provines why he apologized to Kate on Tumblr, since he had denied harassing her or sending revenge porn to her parents.

“I don’t have a minute to chat,” Provines said, and then he hung up. Roughly 40 minutes later, he emailed Kate’s parents calling her a “slut.”

Officers and enlisted personnel—regardless of active-duty or active reserve status—such as Provines and Marquez are subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice, and according to former Marine Judge Advocate General Lt. Col. James W. Weirick, those accused of non-consensual nude-photo-sharing can be prosecuted under Article 120(c) (rape, sex assault and other sexual misconduct) and Article 134 (conduct against good order and discipline).

The investigation into Marines United and nude-photo-sharing has ignited a debate within Congress and the Pentagon on whether the UCMJ is sufficient to address revenge porn and online harassment.

The top Democrat of the House Armed Services Committee’s Military Personnel subcommittee, Rep. Jackie Speier, has introduced the Servicemembers Intimate Privacy Protection Act to prohibit the sharing of “intimate” images without the consent of the individual or individuals depicted. But Gen. Robert Neller, the Marine Commandant, told the Senate Armed Services Committee earlier this month he believes that the UCMJ is adequate to address the current scandal.

Kate’s father watched the Senate Armed Service Committee’s March 14 hearing on the scandal and was dissatisfied with the Marine Commandant’s response.

“I thought [Neller’s] testimony to Congress was pathetic,” he said. “He basically goes, ‘We didn’t realize, we didn’t know how big an issue this was—’ You’re kidding me. You didn’t want to know, that’s why you didn’t know.”

While Kate’s father recognizes that non-consensual photo-sharing transcends the military, he believes the reputation of the U.S. Marine Corps is now at stake.

“Normally I would see any military person, and whether they’re young or old, if they had on a Marine Corps hat, I’d say, ‘I really appreciate your service to this fine country,’” Kate’s dad said. “But I saw a Marine at Walmart just the other day, and I looked at him and thought, ‘I wonder what kind of Marine you are?’”