Lynndie England Heading Back to Court

Pfc. Lynndie England (search) is due back in a military court Wednesday to prepare for her court-martial on charges of abusing prisoners at Iraq's Abu Ghraib (search) prison.

The Army Reservist from Fort Ashby, W.Va., is scheduled for trial Jan. 18. She gave birth to a son Oct. 10, and attorneys have said the father is Spc. Charles Graner Jr. (search), portrayed in testimony as the ringleader in the abuse.

The hearing for England, 21, is on pretrial motions. Defense and Army attorneys declined to provide details, but Army officials have blocked out three days for the proceeding.

England was one of seven members of the Maryland-based 372nd Military Police Company charged with humiliating and assaulting prisoners at the prison near Baghdad. She became a focal point of the scandal after photos surfaced showing her smiling and posing with nude prisoners stacked in a pyramid, pointing and flashing a thumb's up, and holding a detainee on a dog leash.

During testimony this past summer, defense attorneys maintained that England was being used as a scapegoat for a military run amok.

Graner is scheduled for trial in January at Fort Hood, Texas. Three co-defendants have pleaded guilty and received sentences ranging from reduction in rank to eight years in prison. England faces up to 38 years in prison if convicted.

England has said she and the others were following orders from military intelligence operatives to "soften up" prisoners for interrogations.

The defense sought unsuccessfully to call Vice President Dick Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in an attempt to show that those directives came from, or were known to, the highest echelons of the Bush administration.

Military prosecutors argued that there were no such orders, and that the abuse was committed "just for fun."