Bowe Bergdahl Avoids Jail, Will be Dishonorably Discharged

Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in December 2016. Sara D. Davis/Getty Images

Bowe Bergdahl, the controversial Army sergeant who was imprisoned and tortured by the Taliban for five years after deserting his post in Afghanistan, will not face prison time, a military judge ruled at Fort Bragg in North Carolina on Friday. Instead, he will be demoted to a private and dishonorably discharged from his post.

Bergdahl’s decision to walk off the remote base in 2009, and his subsequent capture, caused a massive military operation, which prosecutors in his trial pointed out led to at least three serious injuries. He was released in 2014 when President Obama agreed to exchange five Taliban prisoners.

His defense attorneys argued that the 31-year-old had received punishment enough to not warrant jail time. For much of his captivity, Bergdahl was held in a small metal cage and frequently beaten. During the seven-day trial, he pled guilty to desertion and misbehavior before the enemy, an offense that could be punished with life in prison.

After the announcement, President Donald Trump sent out a Tweet expressing his outrage at the ruling.

You can read more about the ruling and case at USA Today