An Army private believed to be the first female U.S. soldier to seek refuge in Canada rather than return to duty in Iraq was sentenced to 10 months in prison after pleading guilty to desertion, military officials in Colorado said on Tuesday.
Kimberly Rivera, who said she grew opposed to the war during a three-month tour of duty in Iraq, pleaded guilty at a court-martial proceeding in Fort Carson, Colo., on Monday and was sentenced immediately.
In addition to the prison time, the 30-year-old private was reduced in rank, ordered to forfeit pay and benefits and given a bad-conduct discharge, base spokeswoman Meghan Williams said.
Rivera fled to Toronto in 2007 while on leave after serving in Iraq with Fort Carson’s 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, in Baghdad, according to her lawyer, James Branum.
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