updated 11/9/2004 11:21:48 AM ET 2004-11-09T16:21:48

A lieutenant in the New Jersey National Guard who said she was raped at a base in Mississippi does not have to return there, the Army said.

The woman’s lawyer had said that the Army was threatening to prosecute her for being AWOL — or absent without leave — if she did not return to Camp Shelby in Mississippi.

But over the weekend, Lt. Richard Steele, a spokesman for the Georgia-based First United States Army, told reporters the lieutenant could avoid prosecution by reporting to her nearest military installation.

The woman’s lawyer, Frederick Klepp, said Monday that he had not gotten any word from the Army. The soldier said she did not trust the military’s statement.

“This doesn’t answer my questions,” she told The Star-Ledger of Newark for Tuesday’s newspapers. “I could go to Fort Dix and they could ship me anywhere they want.”

The woman said she was raped in August by another officer in 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment, which was training at Camp Shelby.

She said the Army gave her convalescent leave, but then told her she had to return to the unit where she was allegedly raped.

She has said she wants to leave the Army entirely.

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