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Head of Mass. National Guard faces rape allegation

BOSTON (AP) – The commander of the Massachusetts National Guard has been suspended by Gov. Deval Patrick as the U.S. Army investigates allegations that he raped a subordinate nearly 30 years ago.

Secretary of Public Safety Mary Beth Heffernan told reporters Friday that Maj. Gen. Joseph Carter informed Patrick on Thursday he was the subject of an investigation by the Army’s Criminal Investigations Division. An Army spokesman didn’t immediately return calls for comment.

Heffernan says Patrick has placed Carter on paid leave. She says the administration was not aware of any investigation before Thursday.

The alleged rape occurred in Florida in 1984, when Carter was a lieutenant and the alleged victim was a private. Carter has denied the charge.

Heffernan says an interim commander will be named soon.

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