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England gets 3 years for Abu Ghraib abuse

By Associated Press
Published September 28, 2005

FORT HOOD, Texas - Army Pfc. Lynndie England, who said she was only trying to please her soldier boyfriend when she took part in detainee abuse at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison, was sentenced Tuesday to three years behind bars.

England's sentencing wrapped up the last of nine courts-martial of low-level soldiers charged in the abuse scandal, which severely damaged America's image in the Muslim world and tarnished the U.S. military at home and abroad.

The jury of five Army officers needed about 90 minutes to determine their sentence for England, a 22-year-old reservist from rural West Virginia.

The prosecutor, Capt. Chris Graveline, asked the jury to imprison her for four to six years. The defense asked for no time behind bars.

England sat with her eyes forward as the verdict was read, occasionally looking down.

England, the most recognizable of the reservists charged after the graphic abuse photos became public, was convicted Monday on six of the seven counts against her.

She apologized Tuesday for posing for the photos, saying she did so at the behest of Pvt. Charles Graner Jr., the boyfriend she says took advantage of her love and trust while they were in Iraq.

"I was used by Pvt. Graner," England said. "I didn't realize it at the time."

She appeared in several of the best-known photos taken by U.S. guards at Abu Ghraib in late 2003. In one image she held a naked prisoner on a leash, while in others she posed with a pyramid of naked detainees and pointed at the genitals of a prisoner while a cigarette hung from her mouth.

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