ABU GHRAIB, Iraq – A California Army National Guard sergeant has been sentenced to a year in military prison for abusing detainees in Iraq, authorities said Friday.
Sgt. David Fimon, 26, pleaded guilty to multiple charges Monday during a court-martial in Baghdad. The hearing stemmed from allegations that 12 soldiers with the 1st Battalion of the 184th Infantry Regiment (search) abused prisoners, said Lt. Col. Robert Whetstone, a Task Force Baghdad spokesman.
Fimon, of San Diego County's Poway area, will also lose a year's salary, be demoted to private and was given a bad-conduct discharge, meaning he will not be entitled to many veteran's benefits. He will serve his sentence in the United States, Whetstone said.
A message left at a residence listed under Fimon's last name in Poway was not returned Friday.
The 12 soldiers belong to the battalion's Fullerton-based Alpha Company (search). Some face charges of mistreatment of a detainee, assault and making a false statement. Authorities withdrew the charges in two of the dozen cases, but those soldiers face penalties that might include lost pay and restricted duty, Whetstone said.
The specific allegations have not been disclosed, but investigators have reviewed accusations that soldiers used an electric stun gun to abuse handcuffed and blindfolded detainees, according to a military official who asked to remain anonymous because of policies against speaking publicly about ongoing cases.
Soldiers allegedly abused the detainees following an insurgent attack in June, the official said.
The National Guard issued a statement saying: "The California National Guard practices and supports the standards of conduct established for all military personnel. We do not tolerate or condone behavior that is inconsistent with those standards."