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Marine demoted for urinating on Taliban corpse

CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. A Marine Corps sniper captured on a YouTube video urinating on the corpses of Taliban fighters in Afghanistan is being reduced in rank after pleading guilty at a court-martial.

Marine Corps spokesman Col. Sean Gibson says Sgt. Robert W. Richards of Seminole, Fla., was tried Wednesday at Camp Lejeune and was reduced one rank to corporal.

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The video got international attention. It shows four Marines in full combat gear urinating on the bodies of three Afghans in July 2011. One Marine looks down at the bodies and jokes, "Have a good day, buddy."

Richards faced a number of charges including dereliction of duty and violating orders. Military prosecutors said Richards had filmed himself and others urinating on the corpses.

Gibson says Richards' sentence means eight Marines have been punished for their involvement in the incident through administrative punishments or courts-martial.

One of the eight Marines, Staff Sgt. Edward W. Deptola, said another sergeant in the platoon had been killed earlier that day by an IED and the Marines believed the heavily armed Taliban fighters they killed could have been responsible for it.

Deptola was also demoted one rank.