KINGS BAY NAVAL SUBMARINE BASE, Ga. — A submarine sailor was sentenced Friday to 15 days in a Navy brig after he pleaded guilty to failing to alert superiors when fellow crew member showed him videos of female trainees undressing for showers.
Petty Officer 3rd Class Brandon McGarity was the third sailor to plead guilty this week to charges related to the secret recording of female officers and midshipmen aboard the USS Wyoming. His punishment also included a two-grade reduction in rank and forfeiture of two-thirds of his pay for a month.
McGarity, a missile technician, told the officer presiding over his court-martial Friday that he didn't know about any videos taken of officers. But he said one sailor showed him a cellphone video of midshipmen — students from the U.S. Naval Academy or college Navy ROTC programs — topless in the shower area of the submarine last spring. Another sailor, he said, borrowed McGarity's iPod and placed similar photos on it.
"I didn't go out of my way to look at them and I didn't ask for them," McGarity said. "I just tried to walk away."
According to the charges against him, McGarity's crime was essentially keeping his mouth shut. He failed to follow a Navy regulation requiring sailors to report misconduct. And he denied any knowledge of the illicit videos when the submarine's command staff questioned the entire crew in November after they were discovered.
"I already had a reputation in the division of being a narc," McGarity said.
Seven sailors stationed at Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base on the Georgia coast have been charged in connection with the videos, which Navyprosecutors say were traded by sailors "like Pokemon" cards for energy drinks and other items. The case has been a blemish on the Navy's integration of women into the U.S. submarine force, which had been all-male until 2011.
No witnesses were called during McGarity's court-martial Friday, but the four female officers who were recorded have said the videos either ruined or harmed their careers.
"After this happened, I lost the trust of everybody," one woman testified during another sailor's hearing Wednesday. "I couldn't look anyone in the eye and know if they had seen me."
Petty Officer 2nd Class Charles Greaves was sentenced to two years in prison and a dishonorable discharge Tuesday when he pleaded guilty to recording female officers through a crack between pipes with a view into the shower area.
On Wednesday, Petty Officer 2nd Class Joseph A. Bradley pleaded guilty to sharing videos of the officers. He received 30 days confinement and a reduction in rank.