Soldier sentenced in family attack


Aug 4, 2007

(CNN) -- A U.S. Army soldier has been sentenced to 110 years' confinement for participating in the rape of a 14-year-old girl and the killings of her and her family in Iraq, an Army spokeswoman said.

Pfc. Jesse Spielman was convicted Friday of rape, conspiracy to commit rape, housebreaking with the intent to commit rape and four counts of felony murder.

The rape and killings occurred on March 12, 2006, in the Mahmoudiya area, south of Baghdad.

He could be paroled after 10 years, according to The Associated Press.

Spielman will also be reduced in rank to private E-1 and dishonorably discharged, said Staff Sgt. Dallas Courrege, spokeswoman for Spielman's unit, the 101st Airborne Division, based at Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

Jurors on Saturday had sentenced Spielman to a term of life in prison with the possibility of parole and recommended less time than that given to two other soldiers convicted in the crimes -- Spc. James Barker and Sgt. Paul Cortez, Courrege said. Spielman's sentence was changed to 110 years' confinement under a pretrial agreement unsealed at the sentencing, Courrege said.

Both Barker and Cortez have pleaded guilty to several related charges and were dishonorably discharged. Barker was sentenced to 100 years in prison and Cortez was sentenced to 90 years, Courrege said.

A former soldier, Steven D. Green, faces a possible death penalty. He is alleged to have spearheaded the attack on the Iraqi family, killing the girl's father, mother and younger sister before raping and killing the teenager and then burning her body. He was discharged from the Army in May 2006 because of an "anti-social personality disorder" and is being prosecuted in a civilian court.

Another soldier, Pfc. Bryan Howard, has pleaded guilty and was sentenced in March to 27 months confinement, a rank reduction to private and a dishonorable discharge.

A sixth, Sgt. Anthony W. Yribe, was not alleged to have been a participant but has been charged with failing to report the rape and killings.

All the men are from the 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division