Local News

Court-martial delayed for soldier charged in sex assaults

Posted July 20, 2010 4:13 p.m. EDT

— The trial of an 82nd Airborne Division soldier charged with a sexual assault on Fort Bragg last December has been postponed until September, officials said Tuesday.

Spc. Aaron Michael Pernell, 23, is charged with two counts each of rape and burglary and one count each of attempted rape, assault consummated by battery and housebreaking.

His court-martial had been scheduled to begin the week of Aug. 23, but it has been pushed back to the week of Sept. 27. He is being held in confinement at Camp Lejeune until his trial.

Investigators said DNA from Pernell matches semen found on the clothing of a Fort Bragg woman who was sexually assaulted on Dec. 13. The soldier also is charged in a second break-in on post.

If convicted by a military jury, he would face a life sentence.

Pernell also faces prosecution in civilian courts on more than 30 charges in connection with six attacks in Fayetteville and Hoke County between 2008 and 2009. Authorities haven't released details in those cases.

Pernell is an artillery man with the 1st Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment.