BOSTON (CBS) – The U.S. Army’s Criminal Investigation Command is probing an allegation of rape against Joseph Carter, the highest ranking officer in the Massachusetts National Guard, the I-Team has learned.
Joseph Carter was appointed Adjutant General back in 2007 but the I-Team has learned the general may have been keeping a very dark secret under wraps for decades.
Susan Pelletier, a former Army soldier told the I-Team in an interview that she was raped by Carter back in the early 1980’s. We spoke with Pelletier over the phone from her home in Kentucky.
“I begged him, I begged him, he got his way,” Pelletier said. “The more I said no the more aggressive he got. He raped me.”
Then Army Private First Class Pelletier served under Carter, then a lieutenant, at the time.
Both were at a training mission at Fort Elgin in Florida and after having a couple of drinks at a bar, she says she was attacked by Carter on a beach.
“You don’t hurt another soldier,” she said. “You’re supposed to save their life not take it and he took my life.”
After the alleged attack, Pelletier said she was told it was in her best interest to keep what happened quiet. She later went AWOL and was discharged from the National Guard.
About 18 months later, in an attempt to get back into the National Guard, she reported the alleged rape to Mark Murray, then a lawyer with the National Guard.
But the alleged rape was never fully investigated by the military until now.
In a statement to the I-Team, Carter denied raping Pelletier and said he is cooperating with the Army investigation.
The decades old allegation surfaced recently during a court martial hearing against Murray in 2010, charging him with misusing federal money.
According to a transcript of those proceedings obtained by the I-Team, Murray alleged the charges against him were retaliatory. He claimed General Carter wanted him removed from the Guard because it was Murray who looked into the initial rape allegation.
Murray testified that the victim told him she was raped by Carter when they left a nightclub in Florida. Murray also testified that when Carter was questioned in the 1980’s, he reportedly told his commanding officer, “I hope this doesn’t impact me sometime in my future.”
Pelletier said she doesn’t want to cause the general’s family any pain, but believes justice should be done.
“I don’t want to strip his whole life away from him, but something has to be done and if that’s what has to be done, I’m sorry,” she said.
Carter gave the I-Team the following statement: “I was shocked by the allegation when it was made in 2010. I categorically denied the allegation in 2010 and continue to deny it today. I don’t know or recall a Susan Pelletier and I am cooperating in an investigation by the Army.”
The court martial panel ruled in favor of Murray and he was able to keep his job as quartermaster.