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Federal judge sets 2009 trial date for ex-soldier charged with Mahmudiya rape-murder

[JURIST] A judge on the US District Court for the Western District of Kentucky [official site] ruled Tuesday that former Pfc. Steven D. Green [JURIST news archive] will stand trial on April 13, 2009, for his role in the March 2006 rape and murder of a 14-year old Iraqi girl [JURIST news archive] and the murder of her family in Mahmudiya. The 2009 trial date was set to satisfy defense requests for adequate preparation time. Twenty-two-year old Green, the alleged ringleader in the attack, is the only implicated soldier to face federal charges [docket] under the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act [PDF text] because he was discharged from military service before the charges arose. Green, accused of raping the girl and shooting the entire family, pleaded not guilty [JURIST report]. Prosecutors have indicated that they will seek the death penalty [JURIST report] if he is convicted.

Four soldiers [JURIST report] from 101st Airborne Division have already been convicted in military court for crimes stemming from the incident. Spc. James P. Barker and Sgt. Paul E. Cortez [JURIST reports] received prison sentences of 90 and 100 years respectively after they pleaded guilty to participating in the attack. Pfc. Bryan L. Howard, who stayed at the soldiers' checkpoint but had prior knowledge of the plan, was sentenced to 27 months after pleading guilty [JURIST report] in March to conspiracy to commit rape and premeditated murder and conspiracy to obstruct justice. Pfc. Jesse Spielman was sentenced to 110 years in prison after being convicted [JURIST report] on four counts of felony murder, rape, conspiracy to commit rape, and housebreaking with intent to commit rape. All four will be eligible for parole in 10 years. AP has more.

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