Local News

Ft. Bragg Soldiers To Stand Trial For Alleged Involvement In Porn Web Site

Posted March 8, 2006 6:51 a.m. EST
Updated January 9, 2009 5:57 p.m. EST

— The Army has formally arraigned two of three 82nd Airborne Division paratroopers charged with engaging in sex acts on a military-themed 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.

Four other soldiers, whose names have not been released, received what the military calls nonjudicial punishments for appearing on the Web site, believed to be based in Fayetteville, and have been discharged from the Army. Army officials have not said what kind of separation they received -- an honorable discharge, or lower.

All seven paratroopers were members of the 2nd Battalion of the 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment.

The 15,000 paratroopers of the 82nd Airborne are among the Army's most elite soldiers, having volunteered to serve in a unit that trains to deploy anywhere in the world within 18 hours.