Discharged US solider charged for rape
A former US Army soldier was charged with the alcohol-fuelled rape and killing of a young Iraqi woman and the murder of her family, a crime the attackers apparently tried to cover up by burning the victims' bodies.
Steven D Green, a 21-year-old former private first class discharged this spring for a "personality disorder," made an initial appearance on rape and murder charges in a federal courtroom on Monday, three days after he was arrested by FBI agents in western North Carolina.
Green was ordered held without bond while waiting to be taken to Louisville, Kentucky, where he faces four counts of murder and one of rape stemming from the March incident. Each of the murder charges carries a possible death sentence.
According to an affidavit unsealed during his court appearance, Green was part of a group of four soldiers from the Fort Campbell, Kentucky-based 101st Airborne Division.
The group had invaded a home near the traffic checkpoint they manned in Mahmoudiya, Iraq, about 30 kilometres south of Baghdad.
Once inside, the affidavit said, Green and another soldier raped a young Iraqi woman who lived there.
Two other soldiers from the division's 502nd Infantry Regiment who were present and interviewed by investigators said Green fired shots from an AK-47 submachine gun that killed the woman, as well as three members of her family: a man, woman and a young girl.
An official familiar with details of the investigation in Iraq has told The Associated Press that a flammable liquid was used to burn the rape victim's body in an attempted cover-up. (AP)