A Marine sergeant accused of ordering his soldiers to beat a private, causing him to nearly bleed to death, faces up to 49 years in prison.

Sgt. Salvador Pastran Jr., 25, of Pharr, Texas, is one of nine Marines charged in the Dec. 17 beating at Fort Knox of Pvt. Maciej Lugowski, 20, of New York City.Pastran was charged with conspiracy, maiming, hazing violations, cruelty and maltreatment, obstruction of justice, communicating a threat and multiple counts of wrongfully advising Marines to assault other Marines.

Also charged with hazing violations Friday were tank maintenance instructor, Sgt. Harold Walker Jr., 27, of Jamestown, N.Y.; and a student squad leader, Pfc. Jose R. Guerrero Jr., 19, of San Jose, Calif.

Investigators say the beating was one of a series of weekly "love sessions," during which Marines routinely abused each other. Lugowski's spleen was ruptured and had to be removed, but he was able to return to his unit after a brief hospitalization and a 30-day leave.