BOSTON (CBS) – The commander of the Massachusetts National Guard has been placed on leave by Gov. Deval Patrick because a woman has accused him of rape nearly 30 years ago.

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, WBZ-TV’s I-Team reported Thursday.

Susan Pelletier, a former soldier, told the I-Team in an interview that she was raped by Carter back in the early 1980′s.

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 told WBZ-TV she was attacked by Carter on a beach.

In a statement to the I-Team, Carter denied raping Pelletier and said he is cooperating with the Army investigation.

“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,” Carter said.

“General Carter informed Governor Patrick yesterday that he is the subject of a military investigation. He also told the Governor that he is innocent of the allegation the prompted the investigation,” Brendan Ryan, Gov. Patrick’s communications director, said in a statement to WBZ-TV Friday.

“General Carter will be on leave until the investigation is complete. Governor Patrick will wait for the result of the investigation before taking any further action.”

Secretary of Public Safety Mary Beth Heffernan said on Friday that an interim commander will be named soon.

Comments (17)
  1. Italo says:

    In the last paragraph in this important-reading story, what does this mean: ‘Governor Patrick will for the result of the investigation before taking any further action’?

  2. PegBundy says:

    “Governor Patrick will WAIT…….I believe is the missing word, although I’m not a professional journalist.

    1. Scooby says:

      I do not think the person who wrote it is either.

  3. Deval Patrick says:

    I will wait for other, more intelligent, people to decide how to handle this. I was never in the military because I don’t really consider myself a patriot.

  4. emom says:

    Will wait before taking any further action,,, HHMMMMMMM.. that could me, he will do nothing, since the accuser waited 30 years , its possible the limits are up. Will be interesting IF,,,we will hear the out come of this story… If we do , wonder if there will be some crazy explanation… time will tell OR NOT.

  5. JJ says:

    I should hope this commander would anxiously clear his name immediately. Why wait a few more years for justice

  6. js says:

    What a waste of the taxpayer’s money. She said he did. He said he didn’t. There is no other evidence. DNA samples? Eye witness? Security footage? No. No. No. Impossible to indict, let alone convict. Why don’t we exercise some common sense and tell this woman, ” Sorry, we may have been able to help you if you reported this thirty years ago.”

  7. Nicole D. says:

    It isn’t about evidence or not. The fact is there obviously WAS an investigation years ago, and the woman was too scared to pursue it according to this report. When you are suppose to be a leader, you better darn well be sure you have a “flawless” record – which includes no allegations. Now on other sites they are saying he had issues in his past jobs too – MBTA, Boston PD, and was also known as “no show Joe” when he was the Chief on the Vineyard. How on earth does Governor Patrick appoint someone without doing any background check? How many other people are too scared to come forward because they feel too intimidated? It isn’t a waste of money, as the poster above has indicated. The leader of any organization – and particularly a military one in today’s times where we are at war, is suppose to epitomize all the leadership values the military holds, and even an accusation is something which warrants the Governor to remove this person immediately, and any others who helped cover it up for all this time.

  8. Chilli Willie says:

    There is no one in MA who has done more with less than this guy……he was a security aide at English HS in Boston in the 70’s….became highest in MBTA, now General……Peter’s Principle.

  9. Tom says:

    Nicole’s comment about “No show Joe” in Oak Bluffs is utter nonsense. I am a resident of Martha;s Vineyard and can testify that Chief Carter did a brilliant job here displaying great ability and real diligence.

  10. Sophie says:

    It is interesting that BG John Hammond, a possible replacement for BG Carter, was the Executive Officer of the unit when the alleged rape occurred and it is rumored he helped BG Carter cover up the incident. BG Hammond is also the subject of numerous investigations.

  11. Judy says:

    Guilty as charged, just goes to show you how far you can go when you share drinks with William Bulger and his good friend x Governor Weld.

  12. Sad says:

    If that is true, the Governor better be vigilant about who he puts in charge of our states security, or he will have egg on his face twice! When is the Governor going to name someone to take over temporarily? What if our state had a disaster? Who is in charge of all our states military? I imagine the Gov wants to screen the right person to avoid egg on face, but at the same time, our country is still fighting in wars and we should have someone heading our miltary in our state.

    1. Sophie says:

      There is a chain of command, so someone was in charge while the Governor made a decision about the interim Adjutant General. Now that he has made a selection the Guard can move forward instead of being mired in the toxic environment of the previous administration.

  13. metroboy says:

    This guy is just so creepy. He used to harass and terrorize the MBTA police when he was chief there. He needs to be taken down now. Suspension without pay and take away his pension!

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