The U.S. Army will hold a preliminary hearing to determine if a retired Army major general will stand trial for allegedly raping a minor on multiple occasions in the 1980s.
The Article 32 hearing of retired Maj. Gen. James Grazioplene will be held on Saturday at Fort Meade, Maryland, according to a U.S. Army Military District of Washington press release.
Grazioplene, who retired in 2005, is charged with a "violation of Article 120 of Uniform Code of Military Justice with six specifications of rape of a minor on multiple occasions between 1983 and 1989," according to the release.
As a retiree, in accordance with UMCJ, Article 2, Grazioplene is subject to the UCMJ for the alleged offense. There is no current plan for the U.S. Army to recall him to active-duty during the course of the legal proceedings, Army officials maintain.
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Grazioplene, who lives in Gainesville, Va., joined the Army in March 1972 as an armor officer. He was a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., a Ranger and was decorated for his service, according to an article by USA Today.
If convicted of all charges, Grazioplene could face a maximum punishment of confinement for life with the possibility of parole, the release states.
Article 32 of the UCMJ requires the completion of a pre-trial investigation before a case may be referred to trial, according to the release. The hearing is intended for the investigating officer to inquire into "the truth of the matters set forth in the charges, and makes a recommendation to the commander as to disposition of the charges."
An Article 32 hearing is similar to a civilian grand jury, with additional rights afforded to the accused. Some of those additional rights include the right to be present during the investigation; the right to cross-examine prosecution witnesses; and the right to have evidence within the control of military authorities produced at the investigation, the release states.
"The U.S. Army takes all allegations of criminal or inappropriate misconduct seriously and is committed to ensuring all soldiers live up to the Army Values and adhere to the UCMJ and standards of conduct," the release states.
-- Matthew Cox can be reached at email@example.com.