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Head Of Mass. National Guard Suspended Due To Rape Allegation

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General Joseph Carter (Photo credit: National Guard)

General Joseph Carter (Photo credit: National Guard)

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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.

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