This is Sgt. Paul Sasse, a veteran of the Iraq war.
In 2007, Sgt. Sasse was hit by a roadside. A traumatic brain injury led the U.S. Army to diagnose Sgt. Sasse with post-traumatic stress disorder.
Army doctors treated Sgt. Sasse’s PTSD with a concoction of drugs that made the veteran manic. Sgt. Sasse struggled with memory loss, depression, nightmares and fits of rage.
A few weeks after Army doctors started their treatment, Sgt. Sasse lashed out at his wife and a military police officer. The Army put Sgt. Sasse in a jail cell; for months, he sat incarcerated despite the military’s failure to press charges against him.
Sgt. Sasse was taken off all his medications, a practice the FDA warns against. While he was incarcerated, Sgt. Sasse began having delusions that the Army had locked him in an Iraqi prison. Sgt. Sasse lashed out at guards, earning him three criminal charges and nine months in solitary confinement.
An Army judge ruled in September 2012 that Sgt. Sasse was not mentally competent to stand trial. Sgt. Sasse was flown to a military psychiatric hospital in North Carolina.
For two months, Sgt. Sasse received medical treatment. In November 2012, doctors said Sgt. Sasse was competent enough to stand trial. Sgt. Sasse was thrown back in jail.
Medical experts continue to argue that Sgt. Sasse still needs extensive psychiatric treatment for his PTSD. A defense attorney says “his confinement is tantamount to cruel and unusual punishment.”
The Army has upheld their decision to prosecute Iraqi war veteran Sgt. Sasse. If convicted, he could face over 40 years in prison.
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