FORT HOOD, Texas – A military judge Monday refused to dismiss any of the charges against Spc. Sabrina Harman (search), an Army prison guard accused of humiliating Iraqis held at Abu Ghraib.
Harman — who appears giving a thumbs-up next to an Iraqi corpse in one of the most notorious photographs from the Baghdad prison — could become the second person to stand trial in the scandal when her court-martial begins May 12.
The 27-year-old reservist and former pizza shop manager from Lorton, Va., is accused of writing "rapeist" on the leg of one prisoner and forcing another to stand on a box with wires in his hands and telling him he would be electrocuted if he fell. Harman is also accused of taking photographs of a group of naked detainees.
Her legal team tried to get the photograph-related counts dismissed, arguing that the prisoners were not harmed because they were wearing sandbags on their heads.
"If the alleged victim was not aware (of the photos), the alleged victims cannot have mental pain and suffering," said Capt. Patsy Takemura, an Army defense attorney.
Prosecutors countered that the acts were still maltreatment because, at the least, other people knew the photos were taken.
Col. James Pohl (search), the judge, kept the charges intact, saying a jury should decide whether taking the photos constituted a crime.
Harman could get up to 6 1/2 years in prison if convicted of conspiracy, maltreating detainees and dereliction of duty.
Six soldiers have accepted plea bargains in the scandal. But Frank Spinner, Harman's civilian defense attorney, said: "She's not guilty. There will be no deal in this case."
Last month the judge dropped a charge of engaging in indecent acts, which carried five years behind bars. On that charge, Harman had been accused of being among a group of guards who watched naked prisoners masturbate.
In the only trial to date, Pvt. Charles Graner Jr. (search) was convicted in January and sentenced to 10 years. Graner, the reputed ringleader in the abuse, is expected to be called as a witness at Harman's trial.