Sun, Jul 11, 2004 - Page 7 News List

England to face more charges of indecent acts

REUTERS , MIAMI, FLORIDA

US military prosecutors have lodged new sex charges against a female soldier photographed holding an Iraqi prisoner on a leash in an abuse scandal that rattled the US war effort in Iraq, officials said on Friday.

The new charges against Private First Class Lynndie England, who faces a host of charges for allegedly abusing detainees at Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad, were unrelated to mistreatment of Iraqis, the officials said.

A statement issued in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, said she was charged late on Thursday with violating a rule that prohibits creation and possession of sexually explicit photographs and with four counts of indecent acts.

England had been due to face a military court in Fort Bragg tomorrow, but her lawyers requested a delay, a military spokesman said.

England became pregnant in Iraq and media reports have said the father is one of her superiors, Specialist Charles Graner, who also has been charged in the abuse scandal.

Tomorrow's hearing is the first stage of legal proceedings, known as an Article 32 investigation, to decide whether England should face trial. The original charges state that she conspired to mistreat Iraqi prisoners, assaulted prisoners on at least three occasions, committed acts prejudicial to good order and committed an indecent act.

England, a member of the 372nd Military Police (MP) Company, was charged along with six other US military police reservists with abusing prisoners at Abu Ghraib. One soldier has been sentenced to a year in prison after admitting abuse charges.

England has said she was obeying orders when she was photographed in gleeful poses with humiliated prisoners at Abu Ghraib. In one of the pictures, taken late last year, she pointed at the genitals of a hooded, naked man, a cigarette dangling from her lips.

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