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Head Of Mass. National Guard Resigns In Wake Of Rape Allegation

BOSTON (CBS) - The commander of the Massachusetts National Guard resigned Wednesday, six months after a woman accused him of rape nearly 30 years ago.

General Joseph Carter, who was the highest ranking officer in the state Guard, was placed on paid leave by Gov. Deval Patrick back in March, as the U.S. Army's Criminal Investigation Command began looking into the allegation.

"I have now received their final report," Patrick said in a statement Wednesday afternoon.  "Although the investigators were unable to reach definitive conclusions about the allegations and federal authorities declined to prosecute, the report raises serious concerns about the General's actions and his response to the allegations. It is clear to me that General Carter can no longer serve as Adjutant General. He has informed me today that he will retire from the National Guard and I have accepted his resignation."

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.

In a statement to the I-Team back in March, Carter said he 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.

The rape allegation first surfaced during a 2010 court martial proceeding against Colonel Mark Murray.

Patrick announced that General Leon Scott Rice will continue to serve as the interim commander.

Carter released the following statement Wednesday:

"I have not received a copy of the Army's report, but based on what I've heard about it, I feel vindicated because the Army did not deem the most serious allegation against me to be credible. I categorically denied the allegation when it surfaced in 2010 and the Army's determination supports my innocence. However, I am disappointed that the Army has found probable cause for other alleged offenses. I never assaulted anyone, and I cooperated fully with CID's investigation and told the truth.

That said, I am concerned that the CID's conclusions about these unfounded allegations could be a distraction to the Guard, which I have served for 39 years. Accordingly, I have informed the Governor of my intent to retire from my position. I would like to thank all of those who have stood by me during this difficult time. Your support has meant so much to me and my family."

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