FORT BLISS, Texas – A military intelligence interrogator pleaded guilty Wednesday to assaulting a detainee in Afghanistan who later died.
Army Sgt. Joshua Claus (search) was the sixth soldier to be convicted or plead guilty of abusing detainees following the deaths of two prisoners at the Bagram Airfield (search) detention center. In all, charges were filed against 14.
Claus also pleaded guilty to forcing another inmate to kiss a soldier's boots.
Sentencing was scheduled later Wednesday for Claus, who pleaded guilty to maltreatment and assault.
Claus said the abuses were the result of frustrations during interrogations. He admitted to forcing water down the throat of a detainee known as Dilawar and twisting a hood over the man's head. Dilawar died at the detention center in 2002. No one has been charged with causing his death.
Claus said he forced an unidentified detainee to roll on the ground and kiss his boots and those of Pvt. Glendale C. Walls. Claus told the judge he knew he was humiliating the detainee by forcing him to kiss a soldier's feet — considered the dirtiest part of the body in the Muslim (search) faith.
"It was extremely humiliating," he said. "I was telling him he was lower than dirt."
Walls, who said Claus ordered the detainee to kiss his boots, pleaded guilty last month to abuse and standing by as Claus and another soldier did the same thing. He was sentenced to two months in jail.