Victims testify about alleged rapes at Fort Bragg

Aaron Michael Pernell

August 16, 2010 10:01:20 AM PDT
A Fort Bragg soldier appeared in a military courtroom Monday for a hearing on charges he raped women living on the base.

The victims are wives of deployed soldiers. Aaron M. Pernell, 22, allegedly raped one woman in front of her children and broke into the homes of two other women.

Pernell is charged with two counts of rape, one count of attempted rape, one count of assault consummated by battery, two counts of burglary and one count of housebreaking.

In court Monday, two women described brutal attacks at the hands of a man they described as light skinned, clean shaven, between 5'5" and 5'8," with large eyes and a slim build.

One said she smelled alcohol on her attacker's breath during the assault.

She pointed to Pernell when asked if her attacker was in the courtroom.

Earlier, DNA analysts from the State Bureau of Investigation testified their examination of DNA obtained from rape victims and Pernell indicated a near statistical certainty that Pernell is the man who raped the women - unless he has a twin brother.

Investigators say Pernell has also been linked to rapes off post. He's been charged by civilian authorities with six additional attacks, three each in Hoke County and in Fayetteville, between October 2008 and August 2009.

Pernell could face life in prison if he is convicted of rape in the military court system.

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