Archive for Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Reservist convicted in prison abuse

May 17, 2005


— A military jury on Monday convicted the second soldier to be tried in the Abu Ghraib prison scandal, returning guilty verdicts on all but one of the seven charges she faced for her role in the abuse of Iraqi inmates.

A panel of four Army officers and four senior enlisted soldiers convicted Spc. Sabrina Harman on one count of conspiracy to maltreat de-tainees, four counts of maltreating detainees and one count of dereliction of duty.

The 27-year-old reservist from Lorton, Va., was acquitted on one maltreatment count that accused her of photographing a group of Iraqi detainees who were forced to masturbate in public by Abu Ghraib guards. One of Harman's co-defendants testified last week that she was not present when that incident occurred.

Harman's sentencing hearing was scheduled to begin today. She faces a maximum of 5 1/2 years in a military prison.

Harman, a former pizza shop manager from Virginia, was the second soldier to be tried for allegedly mistreating prisoners at Abu Ghraib. She was depicted in several of the most notorious photos taken at Abu Ghraib in late October and early November 2003, and she is accused of taking other pictures.

Harman posed for a photo with Pvt. Charles Graner Jr. behind a group of naked detainees stacked in a pyramid. In another photo, she was shown with a prisoner on whose leg she is accused of writing "rapeist."

Six co-defendants in the Abu Ghraib case have made plea bargains. Graner was convicted in January and is serving a 10-year sentence in an Army prison.

Pfc. Lynndie England, the most recognizable Abu Ghraib defendant, also reached a plea deal, but the judge threw it out in early May after Graner's testimony contradicted England's assertion that she knew her actions were wrong.

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