PM Julia Gillard Finds Sex Video of Aussie Soldiers Repugnant (VIDEOS)

By @vitthernandez on

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has expressed on Friday disappointment at the involvement of senior military officers in the latest sex scandal to hit the Australian Defence Forces in which 17 soldiers filming themselves while having sex with women and then emailed the videos among themselves.

"A lot of work has gone into changing the culture in the army to make it embracing of women ... I'm very disappointed and I'm very concerned and clearly the material here is repugnant," quoted Ms Gillard.

She echoed the sentiments of Lieutenant General David Morrison, chief of the army, who was quoted as saying, "The imagery, as is the text, is explicit, derogatory, demeaning and is repugnant to me."

Members of the group involved in such act belong to the so-called The Jedi Council. Although at least 17 soldiers, including senior officers, are part of the group, and the videotaping was done secretly by three members without the knowledge of their sex partners.

To worsen their offence, Defence computers and Internet facilities were used to produce and distribute the emails, photos and videos. One email had a reference to illegal drugs.

The fourteen other officers, which includes at least one lieutenant colonel, could also be suspended from service, but up to 100 other military personnel across services were identified based on investigations into the email exchanges.

The activities began in 2010. The three ringleaders, identified only by their positions as a major, sergeant and warrant officer, have been suspended from the military. The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions is studying the possibility of laying charges against the three, based on the Commonwealth Telecommunications Law which bans transmission of explicit material without consent.

Among the women in the videos, at least five have been identified based on the emails sent. They met these women at nightclubs, especially those in the inner-Sydney suburbs of Darlinghurst and Paddington. The investigation identified at least one popular club - ARQ Sydney - which is within walking distance of the HMAS Kuttabul naval base and Victoria Barracks where the army's Headquarters Land Command is located.

In 2011, the Skype sex scandal rocked the Australian army. It involved military cadets using the popular free chat site to illegally broadcast their tryst with young women.

The general emphasised, "These behaviours are symptoms of a systemic problem and we will continue to address them in a comprehensive manner."

"We are all entitled to a basic right of dignity. On the evidence I have seen to date, that dignity has been traduced," he added.