CEOL
US charges army sergeant with rape and sodomy in Kosovo

PRISTINA, Mar 17, 2000 -- (AFP) The US Army has brought charges of rape and sodomy against a sergeant already accused of killing an 11-year-old Albanian Kosovar girl in January, it said Thursday in a statement.

"Additional charges have been preferred against Staff Sergeant Frank J. Ronghi, an American soldier charged in conjunction with the death of an 11-year-old Albanian girl in Kosovo on January 13, 2000," the statement said.

"Staff Sergeant Ronghi is now charged with rape, sodomy, and felony murder. These additional charges stem from further investigation into the incidents that initially led the US Army to charge Staff Sergeant Ronghi with murder and indecent acts with a child on January 18, 2000," it continued.

The statement stressed that the charges are an accusation and underlined the fact that under US law, the sergeant "is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty."

Ronghi, who was assigned to the army's 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, is being held in a US jail in Mannheim, Germany.



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