Lynndie England could face up to 38 years in prison

A U.S. military judge adjourned a court hearing on Tuesday into prisoner abuse charges against Pfc. Lynndie England, and said she expected to decide soon whether the soldier photographed holding a naked Iraqi on a leash should face a court martial. "I anticipate submitting a report within a week, give or take a day or two," Col. Denise Arn said. Before the end of the seventh day of the hearings against England, prosecutors sought permission to bring a new charge of cruelty and maltreatment against England, the now pregnant 21-year-old soldier who became the public face of a scandal that shocked world opinion and rattled U.S. efforts to stabilize Iraq. Arn did not immediately rule on the request, which England's defense team opposed. "We believe ... that it is unusual because due process has to be given. We believe due process was not given," said her attorney, Cpt. Jonathan Crisp. England, one of seven military police officers charged, faces 19 counts of assault, conspiracy to mistreat prisoners, committing indecent acts, disobeying orders and possessing sexually explicit material. She could face up to 38 years in prison if convicted, informs Reuters. According to CNN, Pfc. Lynndie England was celebrating her 21st birthday when she helped commit some of the worst acts of abuse at Abu Ghraib prison, military prosecutors said Tuesday. The prosecution said England admitted that when seven suspected rioters were brought to a cell block for questioning November 8, she stepped on some of them, mocked them as they stood naked in a line against a wall, and posed for a picture after they were piled in a human pyramid. Capt. Crystal Jennings, one of the prosecutors, told a military court, "She was having fun. There was no indication she was there for any military purpose." An Army investigating officer will now decide whether Pfc. Lynndie R. England should face a full-blown military trial on as many as 20 charges of abusing detainees and sexual misconduct, after hearing several days of testimony here about the soldier's alleged crimes at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. Army prosecutors at the base here Tuesday added a blanket charge of maltreatment and cruelty against the 21-year-old military police administrative clerk, who was captured last fall in several digital photographs apparently humiliating and abusing naked detainees. Col. Denise J. Arn, who presided over England's pretrial hearing, said she will consider all the charges over the next week and will then make a recommendation to a commanding officer. Jennings countered that the photographs of England speak for themselves. In statements to criminal investigators, England admitted taking part in the acts. England also appears in a number of sexually explicit photographs -- some of which show her having sex with another soldier -- offenses that alone could result in significant prison time. It is unclear when England would face trial, though a decision could be made within weeks or months, reports the Washington Post.

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