The commander of the Massachusetts National Guard, Brigadier General Joseph C. Carter, agreed to resign Monday after military investigators found probable cause that he indecently assaulted a subordinate while on a training exercise in Florida in 1984.
Carter, who has been on administrative leave since March, could not be charged criminally because the statute of limitations has long since expired on the 28-year-old incident.
The Army criminal investigation command did not find probable cause that Carter raped the woman, a 23-year-old Guard secretary at the time of the incident, as she alleged. But investigators concluded he probably touched her inappropriately, engaged in conduct unbecoming an officer, and later made false claims about the incident. If Carter had not agreed to retire, Governor Deval Patrick would have convened a court-martial to remove him.
“It is clear to me that General Carter can no longer serve as adjutant general,” Patrick said in a statement. “This is a disappointing end to a 30-year career of service leadership.”
Carter, who had a long career in law enforcement before he was chosen to lead the Guard in 2007, said neither he nor his lawyer has seen the 5-page Army report, issued Sept. 17. He questioned how investigators could discount the rape allegation and nonetheless find probable cause that he assaulted the woman. “It’s incomprehensible,” said Carter.
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