US soldier sentenced to 100 years for Mahmudiya rape-murder

[JURIST] US Army Sgt. Paul E. Cortez received a 100-year prison sentence Thursday for his role in the rape and murder of a 14-year-old Iraqi girl [JURIST news archive] and the murder of her family in the Mahmudiya (also "Mahmoudiya") area last March. Cortez pleaded guilty [JURIST report] earlier this week to felony murder, rape and conspiracy to rape. He will be dishonorably discharged from the Army and will be eligible for parole after 10 years. His plea agreement [JURIST report], which requires that he testify against others involved in the incident, allowed him to avoid the death penalty.

In November, Army Spc. James P. Barker pleaded guilty [JURIST report] to the rape and murder charges and was sentenced to 90 years in prison [JURIST report], an effective life sentence, but with the possibility of parole. Barker also agreed to testify against the other soldiers implicated [JURIST report] in the attack. Pfcs. Jesse Spielman and Bryan Howard still face military charges and former US Army Pfc. Steven D. Green [JURIST news archive], discharged from the military because of a personality disorder before the allegations arose, has pleaded not guilty [JURIST report] in his civilian trial in federal court in Kentucky. Green is said to have been the key player in the rape and murders. It was recently revealed that three months before the attack, Green was diagnosed by military mental health workers as a homicidal threat [JURIST report]. AP has more.



 

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