Lynndie England Appears In Court

Pfc. Lynndie England, right, sits beside defense attorney Rick Hernandez, left, during a hearing at Fort Bragg, N.C., Monday July 12, 2004. England, 21, is charged with 13 counts of abusing prisoners in Iraq. Last week, an additional five charges were added against her, stemming from "the creation and possession of sexually explicit photographs" and indecent acts, according to the Army.
Army Reserve Pfc. Lynndie England, charged with abusing Iraqis at Abu Ghraib prison, was read her rights in court Monday and a military judge set an Aug. 3 hearing to decide if she should face trial.

England answered "Yes, ma'am" when the presiding judge, Col. Denise Arn, asked if she understood her rights and "No, ma'am" when she was asked if she had any questions.

Arn also granted a request by attorney Rick Hernandez to have Army Capt. John Crisp join England's defense team. Crisp monitored the hearing by telephone from Fort Jackson, S.C., but did not speak.

England, 21, of Fort Ashby, W.Va., is charged with abusing prisoners, disobeying an order and indecent acts. Six charges added last week stem from "the creation and possession of sexually explicit photographs." Army officials have said the latest photographs do not involve Iraqi prisoners.

The maximum total sentence is 38 years in prison.

Photos taken at the Abu Ghraib prison that were made public in May show the petite Army reservist smiling and pointing at naked detainees, flashing a thumbs-up and, in one shot, holding a detainee on a dog leash.

The photos caused widespread outrage, particularly in the Arab world. But England's attorneys have said she was following orders from higher-ups. Defense lawyers have said their possible witnesses would include Vice President Dick Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, along with top generals.

The Article 32 hearing will determine whether England faces a court martial, at which witnesses are to be called and evidence presented.

England, a support specialist, is one of six soldiers charged in the Abu Ghraib scandal. A seventh, Spc. Jeremy C. Sivits, has already pleaded guilty and been sentenced to a year in prison. All seven soldiers are from the 372nd Military Police Company, an Army Reserve unit from Cresaptown, Md.

Spec. Charles A. Graner Jr., 35, another soldier in England's unit, also has been charged with abuses and was involved in a romantic relationship with England; he faces adultery charges for allegedly having sex with England last October.

She was visibly pregnant in court Monday, and her lawyers have said the child is Graner's.

Since being brought back to the United States, England has been assigned to a desk job at a military police brigade office at Fort Bragg.