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Army Sergeant Given 10 Years for Setting Wife’s Legs on Fire

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — An Army sergeant has been given a 10-year sentence for setting his wife’s legs on fire with lighter fluid and a match.

A jury earlier this month convicted 35-year-old Duane Rader of first-degree arson, felony harassment, unlawful imprisonment and assault. He was acquitted of attempted murder.

Rader was sentenced Tuesday.

Heather Rader testified she was awakened on the night of Feb. 13, 2011, by her husband in a drunken rage. Court papers say the incident left her with second-degree burns.

Court documents say she initially told police she accidentally lit herself on fire. It wasn’t until August, after separating from Rader, that she told a Thurston County sheriff’s deputy her initial statement was false.

At trial, she said she lied initially because Rader threatened to hurt her and her daughter if she told anyone what happened. The family was living in Olympia, Wash., at the time.

— Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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