Lynndie England Gets 3 Years

U.S. Army Pfc. Lynndie R. England, arrives at the courthouse, Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2005, in Fort Hood, Texas. England, convicted Monday on six counts of detainee abuse at Abu Ghraib, will start her effort Tuesday to minimize the punishment for her crimes. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez) AP

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 to three years behind bars.

England's sentencing late Tuesday 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 charges carried up to nine years, but 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.

The shocking photos of reservists abusing and sexually humiliating prisoners were first broadcast on the CBS News broadcast 60 Minutes II in April 2004.

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

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

England, the most recognizable of the nine enlisted soldiers charged in the Abu Ghraib scandal after photos of the abuse became public, was convicted on six of the seven counts against her.

At the end of her half-hour statement, made by responding to questions from defense lawyer Capt. Katherine Krul, England said she was embarrassed by the photos.
  • Gina Pace

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