East Tennessee Ashley Madison users could face punishment

The lawsuits were filed between last month and Monday by Ashley Madison users in California, Texas, Missouri, Georgia, Tennessee and Minnesota. They all seek class-action status to represent the estimated 37 million registered Ashley Madison users.

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Hackers earlier this week released names and personal information of millions of AshleyMadison.com users. The website is a dating service where married people can pay to set up affairs.

WATE 6 On Your Side combed through the list of Tennessee users and found a Knoxville politician who used the service while he was in office, and some local members who have military emails. The Pentagon is now investigating the list of more than 15,000 people who registered on the cheating site with .mil or .gov email addresses.

Related story: Evidence of infidelities spreads online in wake of Ashley Madison hack

“Yes, the services are looking into it as well they should be,” said U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter. “I am aware of it. Of course it is an issue because conduct is very important and we expect good conduct on the part of our people.”

Included on the list are an Army email out of Oak Ridge, and the email of a Knoxville Marine, who registered with the Armed Forces Recruiting Center address on Kingston Pike. Officials there said they couldn’t comment, but according to records, he got married just three months before the hack list shows his credit card transaction on Ashley Madison.

His is just one of thousands of Marine, Navy and Army email addresses that used the site to set up extramarital affairs.

According to military law, the punishment for service members cheating on their spouses can be a year in confinement or dishonorable discharge.

Capt. Tyler Balzer with the US Marine Corps said as of now, no action is being taken, but the Department of Defense is investigating whether the addresses in the hack actually belong to service members. He said once that is figured out, they will determine what steps need to be taken.

Ashley Madison has not verified whether the leaked information is authentic.

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