February 25, 2006 in Nation/World

Soldiers charged in gay porn case

Estes Thompson Associated Press
 

RALEIGH, N.C. – The Army has charged seven paratroopers from the celebrated 82nd Airborne Division with engaging in sex acts in video shown on a Web site, authorities said Friday.

Three of the soldiers face courts-martial on charges of sodomy, pandering and engaging in sex acts for money, according to a statement released by the military.

Four other soldiers received what the military calls nonjudicial punishments, including reduction to the rank of private.

The Army has recommended that all be discharged.

The charges do not mention the name of the site, but the division had previously been investigating allegations that soldiers appeared on a gay pornography Web site. A spokesman for the division said Friday’s charges were a result of that investigation.

The military-themed Web site did not make any direct reference to the division or Fort Bragg, a sprawling post about 70 miles south of Raleigh.

The three soldiers who face courts-martial are: Spc. Richard T. Ashley, Pfc. Wesley K. Mitten and Pvt. Kagen B. Mullen. The Army did not release their ages or hometowns.

An arraignment was scheduled for March 7.

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