Fort Bragg Soldier Denies Misconduct, Says Army Tainted by Politics
Posted April 24, 2007 8:36 p.m. EDT
Updated April 24, 2007 9:49 p.m. EDT
Fort Bragg, N.C. — A Fort Bragg soldier could be court martialed, and three others could be kicked out of the military after allegations of sexual misconduct were made against them.
But Tuesday, one of the accused came forward not only to deny the charges, but also to level his own charges against the Army.
It's a major military installation, an army powerhouse tainted by outhouse politics, said Sgt. 1st Class Roderick Barker.
The Army is accusing Barker and the other men of having inappropriate sexual relationships with some of the female soldiers they trained. One master sergeant is accused of rape, and Barker said that allegation swept the Army into overreacting.
“I never had sex with any female soldier,” Barker said. “I wasn’t even in the building when the supposed rape occurred. … We were just dragged into this simply because of rumors and hearsay.”
Army officials said their investigations have been very thorough and that they have treated all the soldiers fairly. Barker said he doesn’t believe that’s true. He thinks race has played a role.
“All these soldiers are African American soldiers,” Barker said. “The proper people aren’t being charged.”
Barker said he volunteered to take a polygraph test, but was never given one.
The Army said it cannot talk about the case on camera because the legal process has not yet run its course. The process begins Wednesday for Barker. That's when he faces an Army board that could recommend ending his military career.
Barker is married with four children. He has been in the Army for 22 years.
The Army released a statement Tuesday stating once again that it is confident the matter has been addressed fully and justly. The soldier accused of rape has a hearing Thursday.