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Judge approves soldier's guilty plea to gang rape, murder - Abeer Qassim al-Janabi [View All]

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Tierra_y_Libertad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-22-07 02:18 PM
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Judge approves soldier's guilty plea to gang rape, murder - Abeer Qassim al-Janabi
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I have no words to describe the horror I feel at the thought of this act of incredible brutality.

FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. (AP) A U.S. soldier broke down in tears in court as he described his role in the gang rape and slaying of a 14-year-old Iraqi girl and the killing of her family last year. Paul E. Cortez, 24, wept Wednesday as he became the second U.S. soldier to plead guilty to charges in a case considered among the worst atrocities by U.S. military personnel in Iraq.

He said Wednesday he raped 14-year-old Abeer Qassim al-Janabi in her family's home in Mahmoudiya last March, and that Spc. James Barker, 24, held her down. "I lifted up her skirt and took off her stockings while Barker held her hands with his knees," he said before admitting that he raped the teenager as she screamed. "After I was done, myself and Barker switched spots."

Another soldier, former Pfc. Steven D. Green, shot the girl's father, mother and younger sister in the bedroom, Cortez said. Green raped the girl in front of Cortez and then shot her multiple times in the head, he said. Cortez also testified that the soldiers attempted to burn the girl's body, burned their clothes and threw the murder weapon, an AK-47, into a canal in an attempt to get rid of evidence.

Later Wednesday, Cortez was found not guilty of more serious charges of premeditated murder and conspiracy to premeditated murder after prosecutors failed to convince a judge that Cortez knew of what they said was Green's intent to murder the whole family.

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