Military officials have demoted a female member of a National Guard military police unit for indecent exposure at a mud-wrestling party at the Camp Bucca detention center in Iraq.
Lt. Col. Barry Johnson, spokesman for detainee operations at the U.S. Army-run camp, did not release the name of the soldier, who lifted her shirt and showed her chest in photographs.
The New York Daily News identified her as Deanna Allen, 19, and Allen’s mother, Ladyna Waldrop of Black Mountain, confirmed the identification.
Several photographs of the party printed in the Daily News showed women wrestling in bras and panties in front of a crowd of male soldiers.
After an inquiry, Allen was demoted from specialist to private first class, received a pay cut and was placed on restriction. She is still a guard at the camp, the newspaper said.
Fair or singled out?
Waldrop said her daughter is devastated by the events.
“It was just a thing where she was coerced by a bunch of people, and with all the excitement, she lost her sanity for a moment and that’s all it took,” she said.
“It seems like they’re just singling her out,” Waldrop said. “She’s the one getting all the publicity and punishment, and that’s not right.”
The party occurred Oct. 30, as the 160th Military Police Battalion, an Army Reserve Unit from Tallahassee, Fla., prepared to turn over its duties to the Asheville-based 105th Military Police Battalion, Johnson said.
In the course of the transfer of duties, “some individuals in their exuberance decided to put together a mud-wrestling thing,” Johnson said Sunday.
Not clear if others disciplined
Photos of the party were found after the 160th had left Iraq, Johnson said, adding that he understood a soldier had turned over the photos to commanders.
Johnson said it appeared the party was “primarily put on by troops of the 160th,” and results of the inquiry were sent to the unit’s commander. It wasn’t immediately clear if any members of the 160th had been disciplined.
Four or five other members of the 105th who were spectators at the party received counseling, Johnson said.
Johnson said the party was not held within sight of detainees. A scandal involving the separate Abu Ghraib prison erupted last spring when photographs were made public showing soldiers taunting naked Iraqi prisoners.