DENVER (AP) — An Iraqi man hailed as a hero for helping U.S. soldiers in Iraq is one of five Iraqis accused of rape-related charges after a woman suffered serious injuries during a sex assault in Colorado Springs.
Jasim Mohammed Hassin Ramadon, 22, was charged with sexual assault and being an accessory after he was arrested Tuesday in connection with the July 22 attack.
Soldiers said they met Ramadon in 2003, when he pleaded with them to arrest him in exchange for key information about local insurgents.
Ramadon was featured in "A Soldier's Promise," a combat memoir by Army First Sgt. Daniel Hendrex, published in 2009, that detailed his relationship with Ramadon as a teenager who risked his life to provide information to U.S. soldiers deployed in Husaybah, a town in Al Anbar Province of Iraq.
During an interview months ago on KOAA-TV in Colorado Springs (http://goo.gl/rxeTF ), Ramadon said his mother told him to help the Americans. When he tried to return, she told him he had to go back to the soldiers or be killed. His Army protectors said Ramadon ultimately turned over 40 insurgents to the Americans, including his father.
Several soldiers interviewed by KOAA-TV said Ramadon was brought to the United States for his help and he settled in Colorado Springs, where the Army unit was based at Fort Carson.
Ramadon said he got into trouble at school in Colorado Springs after students started calling him a terrorist.
"I didn't know how to react, so I started getting into fights," he said.
He later married and had a child.
Lt. Howard Black said Wednesday the attack on the woman was "one of the most horrific assaults I have ever seen." He refused to provide other details.
Court documents said the woman told police she heard a disturbance outside her apartment while getting the mail and intervened. Afterward, she said she was invited to the apartment of one of the men where she was given lemonade and then passed out. Authorities said she suffered serious internal injuries from an attack.
The El Paso District Attorney's Office said charges are pending against others arrested in the case, including Sarmad Fadhi Mohammed, accused of sexual assault and being an accessory, and Mustafa Sataar Al Feraji, Ali Mohammed Hasan Al Juboori, and Yasir Jabbar Jasim, accused of being accessories. They were each being held on $250,000 bond.
Court records indicate Ramadon has a public attorney. It was not known if the other suspects had legal representation.
An Army spokesman said Hendrex now lives in Ft. Meade, Md. He did not return calls seeking comment.