updated 6/3/2004 12:44:53 PM ET 2004-06-03T16:44:53

Two 19-year-old Marines pleaded guilty to giving electric shocks to an Iraqi prisoner they were guarding in early April, months after the widely publicized abuse at the Abu Ghraib prison, the military said Thursday.

Pfc. Andrew J. Sting and Pfc. Jeremiah J. Trefney entered their pleas May 14 at a court-martial in Iraq, according to a statement by the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force in Iraq.

Sting and Trefney were infantrymen with 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, which is attached to the 1st Marine Division. The Marine statement did not say where they are from, but The Patriot-News of Harrisburg reported Thursday that Trefney was from Swatara Township, Pa., and that Sting was from Ohio.

According to the military statement, the pair and two other Marines wanted to discipline the detainee for throwing trash outside his cell and speaking loudly at the Al Mahmudiya prison, a temporary holding facility south of Baghdad.

The Marines attached wires to a power converter, which delivered 110 volts of electricity to the detainee as he returned from the bathroom, the statement said.

Bad-conduct discharges
Sting pleaded guilty to charges of assault, cruelty and maltreatment, dereliction of duty, and conspiracy to assault. He was sentenced to a year in prison, a reduction of rank, forfeiture of pay and a bad-conduct discharge.

Trefney pleaded guilty to cruelty and maltreatment, dereliction of duty, making a false official statement, violating a lawful order and conspiracy to commit assault. He was sentenced to eight months in prison, a reduction of rank and forfeiture of all pay, and he will also receive a bad-conduct discharge.

The two other Marines, who were not identified, are awaiting court action.

The pleas came five days before the highly publicized court-martial hearing for Army Reserve Spc. Jeremy C. Sivits in the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal.

Sivits, 24, of Hyndman, Pa., who pleaded guilty to four counts of abuse, was the first defendant to go on trial in the Abu Ghraib case. Six other reservists are charged with the abuse at Abu Ghraib, which happened between October and January.

Al Mahmudiya held about 300 detainees and was guarded since late March by active-duty Marines and reservists, Marine officials said.

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