WALNUT CREEK, Calif. – A former National Guard (search) commander is accused of taking naked pictures of female U.S. soldiers while they showered last year at the Abu Ghraib (search) prison in Iraq, a newspaper reported.
Capt. Leo V. Merck, 32, of Fremont, Calif., faces a court martial, the Contra Costa Times reported in Wednesday editions.
The Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad (search) is at the center of a scandal involving photographs of U.S. Army soldiers subjecting naked Iraqi prisoners to humiliating treatment.
Three female soldiers from the 870th Military Police Company from Pittsburg, Calif., filed the accusations against Merck in November, National Guard officials told the paper Tuesday.
Spc. Myrna Hernandez, 26, of Antioch, Calif. told the newspaper that she was showering on Nov. 12 at the same time as two other female soldiers when she saw Merck on his hands and knees taking pictures with a digital camera.
"It was very tough for me going through that ...," she said. "I want people to know what he did was wrong, and not something people can just brush off and kick him out."
The women turned Merck in the next day. Hernandez said the pictures were among the many inappropriate photos found on Merck's government computer.
Lt. Michael Drayton took over the unit and said that Merck faced a court martial in Kuwait. The women, who are back in the United States, won't need to go back to testify because Drayton said prosecutors had enough evidence.