Beating of Jewish Soldier Won't Be Charged as Crime

October 13, 2008

Author: Staff Writer

Source: USA Today

Wire Service: AP

An Army trainee will face nonjudicial punishment rather than criminal charges for beating a Jewish soldier so badly he was treated by a hospital, the military said Friday, in a move that keeps many details of the attack secret.

Fort Benning commanders decided not to seek a court-martial in the attack on Pvt. Michael Handman and will resolve it as a personnel matter rather than a crime.

"I'm infuriated," Jonathan Handman, the beaten soldier's father, said Friday. "The Army's continuing to do what they tried to do from the beginning, which is just shovel this under the carpet. It should be treated and charged as a hate crime."

Fort Benning spokeswoman Monica Manganaro said the Army would not release the name of the soldier responsible for the attack, the punishment he received or the results of a military police investigation because nonjudicial punishments are protected under the federal Privacy Act.

Handman, 20, of Atlanta says he was beaten by a fellow trainee Sept. 24 in a laundry room next to their barracks. He was treated at the Army hospital on Fort Benning in Columbus for a concussion and bruising to the left side of his face.

Four days before the attack, Handman was interviewed by commanders of his basic training unit about complaints he'd made in letters to his parents that he had been harassed by two drill sergeants because he's Jewish.