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Soldiers Arraigned In Gay Web Site Case


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Soldiers Arraigned In Gay Web Site Case

by The Associated Press

March 9, 2006 - 8:30 am ET

(Fort Bragg, North Carolina) The Army has formally arraigned two of three 82nd Airborne Division paratroopers charged with engaging in sex acts on a military-themed gay pornography Web site, the Army said Wednesday.

Both Pfc. Wesley K. Mitten, who was arraigned Monday, and Pvt. Kagen B. Mullen, who was arraigned Tuesday, pleaded not guilty.

The 82nd Airborne referred their cases to special courts-martial, which were scheduled for April, said division spokesman Master Sgt. Christopher J. Fletcher. The third paratrooper, Spc. Richard T. Ashley, is awaiting arraignment, Fletcher said.

All three soldiers are charged with pandering, wrongfully engaging in sexual acts over the Internet for money, and sodomy. Mullen also faces adultery charges.

A special court-martial differs from a general court-martial in a few ways, and does not require an Article 32 hearing, the military equivalent of a grand jury. The maximum punishment is limited to no more than a year in prison, forfeiture of two-thirds pay for one year, reduction in rank, and a bad conduct discharge.

The 82nd Airborne said last month that four other soldiers, whose names were not released, received nonjudicial punishment for appearing on the Web site. Their ranks were reduced to private, and they forfeited half a month's pay for two months, performed extra work and were restricted to Fort Bragg for 45 days.

The Army has recommended that all seven be discharged.

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