LOUISVILLE, Ky. – A former 101st Airborne Division soldier pleaded not guilty Wednesday in the rape and slaying of a 14-year-old Iraqi girl and the killings of three others in her family.
Former Army Pvt. Steven D. Green, 21, was indicted last week on federal charges including murder and aggravated sexual assault.
The attack happened March 12 in Mahmoudiya, Iraq, a village about 20 miles south of Baghdad, where Green was stationed with the division's 502nd Infantry Regiment.
The indictment alleges that Green and others raped the girl and burned her body to conceal their crimes. It also alleges that Green and four others stationed at a nearby checkpoint killed her father, mother and 6-year-old sister.
The soldiers who still are serving in the 101st also face charges related to the incident, and two of them could face the death penalty if convicted in courts-martial at Fort Campbell, a judge ruled.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Marisa Ford said after Green's arraignment that a decision about whether to seek the death penalty will be made after Green's attorneys meet with prosecutors in December.
Green's attorneys, Scott Thomas Wendelsdorf and Patrick Bouldin, declined to comment. Green did not speak during the 10-minute court hearing before U.S. Magistrate Judge James Moyer.
Green was discharged from the Army in May for a "personality disorder," according to military investigators. He is being tried in federal court because he is no longer in the Army.
The slayings were among the worst in a series of cases of alleged killings of civilians and other abuses in Iraq that have tarnished the American military.