David Passaro of Lillington, N.C., is the first civilian charged with detainee abuse. He was arrested Thursday in Fayetteville, N.C.
The indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Raleigh, N.C., says Passaro beat a detainee named Abdul Wali, who had voluntarily surrendered.
Wali had been sought in connection with a 2003 rocket attack near Asadabad near the Pakistan border where al-Qaida and the Taliban are still active.
The indictment says Passaro beat the prisoner repeatedly with his hands, feet and a flashlight. Passaro has been charged with two counts of assault and two counts of assault with a deadly weapon. Each charge carries up to a 10-year prison sentence and a $250,000 fine upon conviction.
Attorney General John Ashcroft said the Justice Department also is investigating one abuse criminal referral from the Defense Department and several others from CIA.