February 25, 2006

US paratroopers charged in gay porn site

By Michael Peltier

TALLAHASSEE, Florida (Reuters) - Seven paratroopers from
the U.S. Army's elite 82nd Airborne Division have been charged
with being paid to have sex that was filmed for a gay
pornographic Web site, an Army spokesman said on Saturday.

Three men will face court-martial on charges of sodomy,
pandering and engaging in sex for money while being filmed,
said Pfc. James Wilt, an 82nd Airborne spokesman. Having sex
while being taped is illegal under the U.S. Military Code of

Spc. Richard T. Ashley, Pfc. Wesley K. Mitten and Pvt.
Kagen B. Mullen, members of the 2nd Battalion of the 508th
Parachute Infantry Regiment, were to be arraigned on March 7.

Mullen was also charged with adultery.

Four others, whose names were not disclosed, will be
demoted to private, placed on restriction and docked a month's

"Further, they are being recommended for separation from
the Army," said Wilt, who was interviewed by telephone from
Fort Bragg, in North Carolina.

The 15,000-member division is housed at Fort Bragg, a
sprawling military complex 70 miles south of Raleigh, North

The charges are a result of an investigation that began
over a month ago into a pornographic Web site operated out of
Fayetteville, North Carolina, home, Wilt said.

The U.S. military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy prevents
officials from querying recruits and troops on their sexual
orientation but allows military officials to discharge members
who are openly gay.