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Reservist set to plead guilty to four charges

HAGERSTOWN, Md.-- An Army reservist charged with abusing Iraqis at the Abu Ghraib prison will plead guilty to four offenses on Wednesday in Baghdad, his lawyer said yesterday, making him the second soldier to plead guilty in the scandal.

Staff Sergeant Ivan L. ''Chip" Frederick, 38, will admit to assault, maltreating a detainee, committing an indecent act, and dereliction of duty, Gary Myers said in a telephone interview from his home in New Hampshire.

Eight other counts Frederick faces stemming from alleged abuses of Abu Ghraib detainees will be dropped, Myers said.

Frederick, of Buckingham, Va., is the highest-ranking member of the 372d Military Police Company charged in the scandal, which erupted with the release of photos of soldiers from the unit humiliating detainees at the prison near Baghdad. He had announced in August that he would plead guilty to certain charges.

Six others from the Cresaptown-based unit also were charged; one, Specialist Jeremy C. Sivits, is serving a one-year prison sentence after pleading guilty in May to three counts.

Frederick is accused of jumping on a pile of detainees, stomping on detainees' hands and bare feet, and punching one in the chest so hard he needed medical attention. In addition, Frederick allegedly helped place wires in a detainee's hands and told him he would be electrocuted if he fell off a box.

Myers declined to say what sentence Frederick might receive from the military judge, Army Colonel James Pohl.

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